Is this wage theft?
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Is this wage theft?
I have a friend that works for a university and is considered a state employee in South
Carolina. The state gives a salary range for positions and the university has been paying many employees well below their position’s salary range provided by the state. They are paying newly hired employees the correct salary and have not adjusted the salaries of current employees at all. Is this wage theft?
Asked on December 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
If an employee has a written contract specifying her salary and is not paid that, she can sue for breach of contract for the money.
Without a written contract, she cannot herself directly sue for the money; when there is no contract, employers set salary, wages, etc. If there is a state agency overseeing this university, she can certainly file a complaint with that agency, and they may force the univerity to pay her more, but again, her own right to seek redress for being paid less than she believes she should be paid is dependent on having an enforceable written contract.
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