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Report wage theft

Wage theft affects an estimated 39,000 workers each year in Minnesota. When an employer avoids paying or fails to pay wages earned by its employees, it is wage theft.

Examples include:

  • Being paid less than minimum wage.

  • Not being paid time-and-a-half for overtime hours.

  • Not receiving a final check after you leave your job.

  • Not being paid earned tips.

  • Having paycheck deductions taken for short breaks.

  • Working off the clock or shaved hours.

  • Being misclassified as an independent contractor, enabling the employer to avoid wage and hour requirements.

View worker rights and protections topic areas.

Tips for employers:  Avoiding wage theft

  • Pay your employees at least the state minimum wage. New rates became effective Jan. 1, 2019. Employers operating in the city of Minneapolis need to be aware of the Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance.

  • Pay your employees for all hours worked. Employees must be paid for employer-required training and for time needed to prepare to perform work, such as restocking supplies and performing safety checks. If you require employees to meet at a centralized location before driving to a worksite, pay the employee for the drive-time from the location to the worksite. Employers cannot require employees to remain at work and "punch in" only when it gets busy, "punching out" when business gets slow.

  • Pay your hourly employees for overtime when their work hours exceed 48 hours in a work week. Federal law requires some hourly employees to receive overtime after working 40 hours in a work week. Some employees are exempt from this requirement.

  • Pay your employees at least every 31 days.

  • Do not misclassify employees as independent contractors. Such misclassification not only adversely impacts the employees, it also creates a competitive disadvantage for employers that comply with state laws related to workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and tax withholding.

  • Do not take unlawful deductions from your employees' paychecks. Deductions for lost or damaged property, cash shortages, tools or uniform expenses generally cannot be made.

  • Do not require your employees to pool or share tips.

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