News Article

Know Your Rights: Wage Theft


Wage theft is a problem in Minnesota.

It’s estimated that every year, Minnesota workers lose an estimated $12 million in unpaid wages.

$12 million. That would have bought a lot of deep-fried pickles and rides on the Tilt-A-Whirl at the Minnesota State Fair. It’s money that should have been in the pockets of working people.

Wage theft occurs when employers do not pay their workers what they owe them for the work they performed.

Do any of these situations apply to you:

  • Are you making less than the minimum wage
  • Are you entitled to overtime pay but have not received it
  • Have you been asked to work before or after your scheduled hours without additional pay

If so, your employer may be committing wage theft.

Based on 2017 American Community Survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated amount of annual lost wages for Minnesota workers is over 180 times the median household income in Minnesota.

But thanks to a new law, we’ve got a powerful tool to combat rampant wage theft.

As a result of this new piece of legislation, Minnesotans have the following rights in their workplace:

  1. Employers in our state must provide each new employee hired after July 1, 2019 a written notice that lays out specific terms and conditions of your employment such as: Your employment status as either an exempt or non-exempt employee; whether you are exempt from minimum wage and overtime (among other things) and on what basis that was determined; the number of days in the pay period and the regularly scheduled pay day; when you will receive your first pay check; your rate of pay and how that is determined (hourly, by day etc.); any allowances for meals and lodging; information on the accrual of paid time off and how it may be used; a list of deductions to your pay; and the employers name, address and phone number. .
  2. Employers also must provide a more detailed pay stub to include information such as pay rate, pay basis, deductions, gross pay, net amount of pay after deductions, a list of all deductions, and total hours worked, among other things. This gives greater transparency to employee earnings so working people can make sure they are being paid what they deserve.
  3. Employers cannot retaliate against employees for asserting rights or remedies under Minnesota’s wage and hour laws
  4. If an employer fails to pay an employee all wages, salary, gratuities, earnings or commissions, they could face new criminal penalties for intentional wage theft and additional civil enforcement of wage payments.

You can learn more at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.


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