Low-Income Employees Suffer 'Wage Theft' by Employers

| by Michael Allen

Low-income employees have picketed and protested this year outside fast-good chains such as McDonald's, KFC and Wendy's. The workers have been calling for a $15 a hour wage and the right to form unions at fast-food restaurants and at Walmart.

Beyond low wages, one of the major problems these workers face is their employers stealing what little money they earn.

According to a survey earlier this year, 84 percent of New York City fast-food workers have been the victims of wage theft, noted The Nation.

Wage theft includes employers not paying for work-related time such as cleaning up the store or counting a register, reports Al Jazeera America.

Other workers lose part of their pay to work-related expenses or fees. Some employees are not given breaks during work or paid overtime even though they work it. Of course, low-wage earners don't have the money to hire lawyers to sue their employers for violating labor laws.

Some low-wage earners actually get paid with debit cards, which include fees to withdraw money or to even check their balance, which goes to the banks or companies that manufacture the cards as a "convenience" to the employee.

These workers are often on call as well, having to drop everything to cover a shift in a world of random work schedules. These employees also have a difficult time finding child care at a moment's notice.

Sources: Al Jazeera America and The Nation