Maryann Tobin

More than 7,000 lawsuits have been filed against US employers, who have cheated their workers out of their pay. Most of the cases involve underpayments.

The discrepancies often occur when workers are asked to work overtime, then are not paid for it. Other problems include the miscalculation of hours worked, which short-changes workers, resulting in lower pay.

Problems involving US employers who are cheating workers out of their pay is on the rise. Ten years ago, barely 2,000 workers had to file lawsuits to get the pay they were owed. That number has tripled in the past two years.

Jeffrey Michael Hirsch, associate professor at the University of North Carolina’s law school calls the problem “wage theft.”

Hirsch said, “Many workers still have a hard time taking advantage of their legal protections. Low-wage employees, in particular, often don't earn enough to attract attorneys, although class actions might help in some cases, so you see a lot of cases of un-remedied wage theft,” according to MSNBC.

Last year, the Department of Labor collected $224 million in back wages on behalf of 275,000 employees.

With the ever-increasing, anti-labor environment being promoted by conservative Republican legislators, US workers are likely to see “wage theft” get worse, unless the government takes action to strengthen wage laws.