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As state after state raises the minimum wage, companies continue to find ways to cheat hourly workers out of pay they’re entitled to — by holding unpaid mandatory off-the-clock meetings, and even requiring employees to continue working after clocking out.

“They’re asked to work off the clock before or after their shift. They don’t get a meal break for each eight-hour shift, companies fail to pay time and a half” when it’s due, Peter Ruark, senior policy analyst for the Michigan League for Public Policy, told WhoWhatWhy.

Sometimes their tips are even confiscated.

Wage theft steals from society as well as from individual workers, according to Ruark. When people do not receive wages or benefits that were rightly earned, “they have less to spend in their communities. It adds to family stress. They may have to receive food assistance.”

Employees are supposedly protected against such practices by the Fair Labor Standards Act, so why don’t they speak up? Because, Ruark said, by definition minimum wage violations affect the lowest-wage workers — the workers who can least afford to bear the cost of fighting back.

“These are people who don’t feel they have a lot of clout to be whistleblowers. They feel their employment is vulnerable,” he said. These employees may feel especially vulnerable in what labor experts are labeling the Trump administration’s employer-friendly environment. March 30, 2019 – Salon

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