One of the worst things that an employer can do is to take advantage of their employees by not paying them accurately. Employers may do this in one of many ways, from “estimating” hours worked to failing to pay overtime for hours worked past the normal work week.
As an employee, you can take steps to protect yourself against unfair treatment by your employer. It’s important to track your wages, so that you have evidence if you are not being paid correctly. This can also help you point out discrepancies in pay to your employer, so they can correct mistakes when made.
How can you track your wages?
There are several ways to track your wages (including time-tracking apps for your phone). It’s best to use two or more, so that you are able to note when discrepancies take place and have multiple forms of evidence if you need to go to court.
1. Track wages by hand
The first option is to track your wages by hand. Every day that you work, write down what time you clock in and when you clock out. Don’t round the numbers or assume time worked. Instead, be as precise as possible.
2. Keep track of your schedule
Another good way to keep track of the hours you worked is to keep each schedule and to mark down the times you work. If you miss a day, for example, cross it out on the schedule. If you work an extra day, mark that, so you remember.
3. Review your pay
Each time you’re paid, you should review it for inaccuracies. Did your employer say they’d add a few hours of time for work you did at home or training that you weren’t clocked in for? Make sure that time is added. If not, ask them to add it again and make a note.
4. Bring up discrepancies
Finally, if you do note that there are discrepancies in your pay versus the time you worked, talk to your employer. Write down what they say and make sure you understand how time is added and calculated for each pay period. That way, you’ll be able to see if you made a mistake or if there is a real difference in what you’re owed.
Don’t always assume that your employer is failing to pay you appropriately on purpose. Mistakes do happen. However, if this is happening frequently or your employer won’t make things right, it’s time to look into your legal rights in California.