Monday, October 7, 2019

Can I Sue My Employer for Unpaid Wages?

unpaid wages overtime breaks minimum wage lawsuit claim employment attorney Florida

Recover Unpaid Wages Through Legal Means

We rely on our employers to provide us with the fair agreed-upon wages that we work so hard for. Bills need to be paid and food needs to be put on the table so when an employer sees fit to not provide these agreed-upon wages after an employee has worked for them, employees can suffer. When something like this occurs, you may be able to seek compensation for these withholding of wages by filing a wage claim.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Employer for Withheld Wages and More

Those that have suffered the grievance of having their wages withheld by their employer may be able to seek legal compensation through a lawsuit against that employer. Florida does not have a state entity or agency that is responsible for enforcing the proper paying of employee wages like some other states do so it falls to the employees to take legal matters into their own hands and file a lawsuit against their employer to take them to court or they can file a complaint with the Federal Department of Labor. 
When taking legal action against your employer over unpaid wages it is important that you consider speaking to an attorney about your options and how best to proceed. The lawyers of Sibley Dolman have experience in handling cases like this and can provide you with the expert knowledge that will give your case the best chance at successfully recovering your unpaid wages. Don’t attempt to handle a lawsuit on your own. Let an attorney skilled in employment law assist you and avoid the many mistakes that can ruin your chances of getting the money that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with Sibley Dolman either contact us online or call our office at (727) 222-6922.

Unpaid Wages and Minimum Wage

Florida’s minimum wage is currently $8.46 an hour while the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour meaning Florida employees are entitled to receive the state minimum wage because it is higher. Occasionally, the city or county that you work in may have a higher set minimum wage than the state. If this is the case, then you are entitled to that higher wage. Employees that work jobs where they are regularly tipped can actually be paid less. As of 2019, the minimum wage for employees working tip centric jobs is $5.44 per hour. On the other hand, if an employee’s tips are not enough to reach the state’s minimum wage, then an employer will have to pay the difference. 
An employer can underpay minimum wage to their employees by shorting them a couple of dollars or they can fail to pay their employees altogether for certain times that they worked. Employees must be able to calculate exactly how much their employers owe them and must be able to verify that they worked those times. This means that in the case of partial pay, an employee looking to sue their employer would have to take the amount that they were not paid.

Unpaid Overtime

Employers may also fail to pay their employees overtime or not pay them the full one and a half wage per hour. Federal law dictates that employers must pay employees overtime pay after a work period of 40 hours a week. Florida does not have its own overtime laws that pertain to this but the Federal standard still remains in play. However, some employees are not entitled to overtime pay. Some employees may be considered exempt from these kinds of wages and cannot sue their employers for failing to pay them overtime. Some common types of employees that are considered overtime exempt include independent contractors or freelancers since they are considered to be free agents and not direct employees of the entity hiring them as well as white-collar workers that provide managerial, professional, or administrative work. There are no Florida overtime laws that require overtime pay for work done on weekends or on holidays.

Unpaid Paid Break Time

Breaks are not required to be given to employees but it is more often the case that employers will provide breaks to their employees since it is ultimately more beneficial for everyone. However, this can bring up the question of whether break time should be paid or not and in certain cases it can be paid. Federal requirements state that when breaks of 20 minutes or less are given, they must be paid. Meal breaks of 30 minutes or more where the employee is relieved of all duties can be unpaid. You could have been working with a company for some time and taking unpaid fifteen-minute breaks the entire time. While a few unpaid fifteen-minute breaks may not have too much value, a year of unpaid short breaks can add up to a significant sum that you are owed. 

Seek an Experienced Florida Employment Law Attorney

If you or a loved one have been discriminated against in the workplace based on your, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, or national origin, then do not hesitate to Contact Sibley Dolman about receiving a free consultation on your claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise that you will need to secure the compensation you deserve.
Discrimination in the workplace can take a number of forms, namely unpaid wages but also through inappropriate behavior that creates a hostile work environment, withholding promotions, assigning undesirable work positions, withholding benefits, etc. You can take measures to stop this behavior and ensure that you are compensated for the damages that you have suffered. The lawyers of Sibley Dolman will work with you to make sure that those that have abused their power as your employer are held accountable for their actions and that you get the restitution you are owed. 
If you or a loved one has sustained such injuries, please contact us at (727) 222-6922 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712

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