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Common forms of wage theft employees should recognize

On Behalf of | Dec 18, 2023 | Wage & Hour Law

Wage theft is a serious yet often overlooked issue for employees in all industries and areas. Although some forms of wage theft are well-documented, it is easy to miss some lesser-known variations.

There are several that you should watch for and address right away.

Time theft

Time theft is subtle, so many employees miss it. It involves manipulating work hours by shaving time off by rounding down pay reporting. The lost minutes may seem insignificant from a daily perspective, but those stolen moments can add up significantly over time. Employees should be attentive to company policies allowing round-down timecard processing and overtime pay restrictions.


The classification requirements for employees versus independent contractors have some ambiguity that leads to confusion and uncertainty. Research shows that nearly 34% of employers in Colorado misclassify workers, costing those individuals employee benefits such as overtime pay and health insurance.

Off-the-clock work

Many employees inadvertently provide off-the-clock work, doing work-related tasks before or after official working hours without proper compensation. Employers may subtly encourage this practice by fostering a culture of unpaid overtime and pressure to complete tasks without tracking time.

Individuals miss the more subtle forms of wage theft from their employers because the work environment embraces the dynamic as normal. Shedding light on these lesser-known forms of wage theft can help you not only identify when it happens to you but also fight for the compensation that you deserve. Your time at work has value and your compensation should reflect that. Consider these common methods of wage theft as you assess your work environment.