If would be nice if everyone could say that they do not work for the money, but solely for the joy of the job. Sadly, not everyone can make that claim, and most people work because they need money to survive -- whether it is for food and shelter, to support a family or even for leisure activities. On the other side of the coin, most businesses are in business to profit. In order for both sides to be in agreement over their goals, wages or salaries must be established and adhered to during the course of employment between a worker and the person's employer.
On both state and federal levels, we have laws in place to protect workers and their rights. We have both state and federal minimum wages, as well as overtime wages for non-salaried employees and minimum wages for workers in the service industry who rely on tips as part of their wages. Unfortunately, not all employers adhere to all laws, and may make shortcuts in an effort to protect their bottom line, at the expense of their employees.
Violations that might occur include paying lower than the minimum wage, misclassifying employees to not pay them overtime, requiring that workers work "off the clock" meaning working without pay, tinkering with wages that include tips and illegally attempting to pay wages in the form of meals or board. Employers may also deny benefits to an employee, including family and medical leave, both of which are protected by federal law.
If people believe that their wages or benefits are being compromised and that their employee rights are being violated, it is important to address the issue. Not just for the person's sake, but for the sake of fellow employees and future employees of the business as well.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Wages & Benefits: Overview," Accessed on June 21, 2016