“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” – Alfred Lord Tennyson.
While Alfred eloquently stated a major tenant of the human condition, love, working without proper compensation is the ultimate employer abuse. In any relationship there is a power dichotomy; minimum wage workers tend to live paycheck to paycheck, relying on a certain level of income in order to keep the lights on, and family fed. Lemuel Gulliver, in the tale Gulliver’s Travels, experienced both the awesome power of being an omnipotent god Giant, and an insignificant, novelty pet; inside his “traveling box”, absolute power acquiesced, can certainly corrupt absolutely. With the awesome power an employer holds over the employee, who is often voiceless, and financially insecure, the end result is often forced surrender. Just as Gulliver was helpless against his giant watchmen, employees are compelled to give up, shut up, and accept whatever plight they are subjected to, out of fear of expensive lawsuits, or focused on keeping food on the table in the interim. Thank you to the author for sponsoring this post.
Don’t Be a Victim of Wage Theft
As a young countryboy in Southwestern, Kansas, Drew Herrmann learned the value of an honest day’s work, instilled upon by his family’s farm, and hard-working father. Drew’s life would be changed, when his father tragically passed away in a plane crash. Here is where most would find excuses to live an unfulfilled life. Under the guidance of his family and Uncle, Drew worked the farm as a teenager before attending Kansas State University. As a blue collar working class family, values of work ethic, and proper compensation fueled Drew’s passion for helping those who were voiceless. Since 4 years old, Drew worked the farm, and from 12-18 grew the roots of the man he knew he wanted to become, someone for the people. Without his family’s support in his time of need at the tender age of 12, life would be much different to say the least. Now as an adult, giving strength and a real voice to the underdog, those in need, is built into the factric of Drew Herrmann’s DNA, his life experience. His commitment to excellence was exemplified by graduating magna cum laude, with a B.S. in finance, then acceptance into Texas A&M University School of Law, J.D., where he was once again magna cum laude. The ability to choose a path, and commit to it fully enabled Drew to transform from a young boy, into a man, where advisaries know him as Mr. Herrmann, Attorney, aka, “Pay Check Collector” for his uncanny ability to represent workers and win. The growing firm holds employers accountable and seeks full retribution for their transgressions.
Common Employee Wage Issues
Waiter Tips: Even the most reputable diners on the surface, have withheld tip money from waiters. Mr. Herrmann represented past employees against Watauga restaurant, which was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Pooled tips, stolen tips by manager/owners, and unpaid overtime (even if salary). If hourly rate plus tips does not at least equal the federal mandated hourly minimum wage, then the employer must make up the difference. If they are actively inhibiting your ability to earn a living, such as docking pay for improperly cooked steaks, you don’t have to silently be a victim.
Unpaid Overtime: Show up to work late, your pay is rightfully docked, and you could possibly be terminated from your employer. However, if they routinely ask you to work longer hours, you are due financial compensation at the correct overtime rate. Salary workers are often victims of endless workweeks under the guise of salary, yet are still owed additional hours of work outside the scope of the agreed upon salary hours and pay.
Discrimination / Retaliation: While it’s not a direct form of lost wages, being discriminated against or put into an ominous position, forces one to either endure poor working conditions, or lost wages in the form of forced quitting. When employers seek to harm or make an employee’s life unbearable, in a concerted effort to incite them to quit or endure substandard work conditions, they are violating employee rights. Even when it’s primarily done by fellow employees, employer’s still must protect them, or face litigation.
Lost wages are unfortunately prevalent because people don’t know their rights, assume employers can do as they wish, and lack of the personal funds to go up against the titans oppressing them. Lawyers such as Drew Herrmann often work on a contingency basis to lower the barrier to entry, allowing the minimum wage worker to not choose between what’s right and paying their bills on time. Basic consultation fees aside, if you or anyone you know is a victim of an abusive work place, mentally, physically or financially, a lawyer can be your best way to seek legal justice and become financially whole again.