What is wage theft?

Wage theft is when an employer withholds all or part of a paycheck, including tips or overtime, for time that an employee has already worked and earned wages. Employers must pay their workers in full for all hours worked, including tips or overtime, and always at least the minimum wage. Employers must also keep payroll records for at least three years, and provide written explanation to workers about pay rates and deductions for each pay period.

My last employer didn't pay me for the last two weeks of work, but I now don't work there anymore. Can I still file a complaint? Yes. Wage theft complaints can go back as far as three years.

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards will investigate your complaint, and if they find that wage theft has occurred, they will order the employer to pay back wages and tips, including interest, and possibly penalties. In some serious cases, police will investigate and the employer could face jail time. You can contact the Fair Work Center at 1-844-485-1195. You can also visit the Seattle Office of Labor Standards website.

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