Wage Theft Epidemic: Are You a Victim?

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor has had to deal with a rash of wage-theft lawsuits. The department found it necessary to file charges against numerous employers who short-changed employees in the area of overtime compensation. Experts who work these cases on a daily basis tell us that the number one issue is the miscalculation of overtime pay. A device as simple as an employee time clock might prevent many of these legal cases from ever coming to trial. When employers fail to pay workers for overtime, or when they misclassify hours worked, they often find themselves on the wrong end of a federal government lawsuit.


Whenever a company does not pay a worker for overtime, or regular hours worked, the issue is referred to as wage theft. Typically, when an employee doctors a time card in order to defraud his employer, that practice is called time theft. Recent government litigation has shown that the two most common practices, which lead to wage theft could be prevented by simple employee time clocks. A recent major case was filed by the Department of Labor against one of the nation’s largest retailers. The retailer ended up having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back pay to workers who had not been properly compensated for overtime.

An employee time clock, properly used, might have prevented that major case from seeing the light of day. When both companies and workers are vigilant, and use sophisticated employee time clock devices, such problems are avoided altogether. Due to the spate of lawsuits, more companies are installing modern time clock devices and software in order to prevent a trip to the courthouse.

Quality time and attendance systems, like biometric access systems, can measure every second of each worker’s time, and categorize that time correctly. If a problem arises, it is easily fixed. No longer do owners and employees need worry about paycheck accuracy. Many high-tech systems in use today are able to prevent identity theft as well.

Wage theft continues to be a huge legal issue for companies, but with the advent of sophisticated time and attendance software, the problem is likely to abate. Time clock systems are inexpensive, especially considering what management and labor can save in terms of legal costs, hours lost, and frustration avoided. Some of the best attendance systems use biometric data to prevent unauthorized access and employee time theft.