How To Get Back Pay From Employers
While there are minimum wage, overtime, and tip laws that apply at the state and federal levels, not all employers abide by them. Many companies go to great lengths to pay workers as little as possible.
Unfortunately, many employees don’t do anything about it. They let it go because they don’t want to cause trouble. But if they don’t say anything, it just continues to happen.
Wage and hour law violations happen every day in Florida. That’s why employees need to understand their legal rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under federal law, they are guaranteed a minimum hourly wage. If they work overtime, which means more than 40 hours per week, they must receive a rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly wage. Minimum wage in Florida is $8.65 an hour.
Common violations include:
- Unpaid overtime;
- Paid less than the minimum wage;
- Misclassification as exempt from overtime;
- Finding ways to avoid compensating employees for time worked (such as forcing them to work off the clock); and
- Illegal tip pools.
What You Can Do
If you are a victim of wage violations, there are a couple things you can do. First, you should check to see if you are owed back pay. In 2020, the Department of Labor recovered $257 million in back pay from employers who failed to appropriately pay employees. If that money belongs to you, then the Department of Labor will send it to you. However, if you moved or changed your name, then it will hold onto your back wages for three years. The Workers Owed Wages tool can help you locate any back pay you are entitled to receive.
If you cannot locate any back pay, then you can file a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The department will investigate the claim. If they consider it to be valid, then they will order your employer to pay you the amount you are owed. This is the most common way to resolve these violations. Plus, it’s free and confidential.
If this doesn’t work, then the next step is to sue your employer. Contact a lawyer to understand the steps involved. If you win your case, you can receive back pay, interest, and more. Keep in mind that you cannot face retaliation for filing a claim against your employer. If your employer does discriminate against you or fire you for making a claim, you can sue them for damages. Employers who refuse to pay employees can also face fines and criminal prosecution.
Contact a Bradenton Consumer Protection Lawyer Today
Many workers are not paid the compensation they deserve. Employers often try to keep overtime and tips away from them and pay them as little as possible.
The Bradenton consumer protection lawyer at The Cahall Law Firm can help you understand your rights as an employee. Don’t let your employer take advantage of you. If your rights have been violated, come get justice. Schedule a free consultation by calling (941) 281-2019 or filling out the online form.