The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives, including our jobs. For many workers, the pandemic has meant being laid off or furloughed, but for others, it has meant working from home. This shift to remote work has created new challenges for employers and employees alike, including the potential for wage theft.
A recent report from the Miami Herald highlights a growing trend of employers failing to pay their remote workers for all of the hours they work. The report cites several examples of workers who have experienced wage theft during the pandemic, including a woman who was not paid for the overtime she worked while working from home for a healthcare company and a man who was not paid for the time he spent answering work-related emails outside of his normal working hours.
Wage theft, which is the illegal practice of not paying employees for all of the hours they work or not paying them the wages they are owed, is a serious issue that affects millions of workers every year. According to the Economic Policy Institute, wage theft costs workers billions of dollars annually and is especially prevalent in low-wage industries like fast food, retail, and hospitality.
The shift to remote work has made it easier for employers to engage in wage theft, as they can no longer rely on traditional methods like punch clocks or on-site supervisors to monitor their employees’ hours. Instead, many employers are relying on software and other technology to track their employees’ time, which can be easily manipulated or inaccurate.
What you can do to prevent wage theft
To combat wage theft during the pandemic, workers are encouraged to keep track of their hours and make sure they are being paid for all of the time they work, including any overtime. If a worker suspects they have been a victim of wage theft, they should contact an employment lawyer to discuss their legal options.
Miami employment lawyers can help workers file wage theft claims and recover the wages they are owed. They can also provide legal advice and representation in cases involving discrimination, harassment, and other employment-related issues. By reaching out to a Florida employment lawyer, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome.
In conclusion, wage theft is a serious problem that has only been exacerbated by the shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers must take responsibility for paying their workers fairly and accurately, and workers must take steps to protect themselves from wage theft by keeping track of their hours and consulting with employment lawyers if necessary.