Whether an employer acts out of ignorance or greed, wage theft is a real problem facing American workers. An employer can steal a worker's wage through a variety of means. Some of those ways are:
- Making workers record false entries on their timecards that do not show when a worker truly started working or stopped working. This is often referred to as requiring workers to work "off-the-clock."
- Having workers sign blank timecards or altering worker's timecards to show fewer hours worked than what the worker actually worked.
- Not paying workers all the wages they have earned on the established pay date. For example, the worker works fifty hours, but the employer only pays the worker for forty during this pay period and pays the ten additional hours in the next pay period ("banking hours").
- Promising a worker certain wages and then not following through. For example, an employer could promise a worker commissions or a bonus and then not follow through.
- Deciding after the fact to reduce a worker's rate of pay. For example, paying a worker that was hired at $20.00 for hours already worked at $15.00 an hour instead.