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How time-shaving deprives workers of their lawful wages

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2023 | Wage Theft

Workers across the country benefit from the protection of both federal and state employment laws. However, workers often struggle to understand their rights, and many companies will happily take advantage of those who lack the understanding and resources to hold these entities accountable for their unlawful actions.

Companies may lie to workers about their rights to wages. Some businesses even intentionally engage in illegal activity to reduce what they pay their workers. Time-shaving is one example of employer wage theft that can unfairly affect individual employees.

What is wage shaving, and how does it affect workers?

In a time-shaving scheme, companies alter records to pay workers less than they are owed. Time-shaving comes in many different forms, but the goal is to reduce how much the company pays for the labor it receives.

For example, some organizations enforce a no-overtime rule, not by preventing people from working more than 40 hours but by refusing to pay them overtime wages or removing the overtime from their time clock records.

Other forms of time shaving include someone in payroll or management at a business deducting a few minutes from each worker’s shift by slightly changing when they started or ended their shift. The more frequently employers make such adjustments, the more those changes will add up.

Taking five minutes from your shift every day that you work could add up to a couple of hours a month, which will eventually amount to a full paycheck that you didn’t receive. If a company employs that practice across numerous workers’ records, the company could deprive its staff of thousands of dollars in wages on a regular basis.

How do you fight time-shaving?

You’ll typically need to prove that your employer did something wrong if you want to make a wage claim in civil court or get the business to change its practices. Collecting your own time clock records so that you can show a pattern of the company paying you for less than the full amount of time you worked could help you build a case.

If multiple workers all start maintaining records, they may be able to convince the courts that such alterations were intentional. Fighting back against time-shaving practices and other attempts to reduce your pay can help to protect you from the misconduct of your employer and may help your coworkers in the process.