We have heard, “l live in Florida and my employer did not pay me,” more than once. Despite federal and state laws that prohibit employers from refusing to pay their employees, it still happens quite often.
If you live in Florida and your employer has wrongfully withheld your wages, you should reach out to a wage dispute attorney as soon as possible. At Brenton Legal, PA, we have experienced employment law and wage dispute attorneys who are available to help you seek the justice and compensation that you deserve after being stiffed by your employer.
Here are some steps that you should take if your employer did not pay you. We’ll also discuss some of the basics surrounding wage and employment law in Florida.
Employment Law and Unpaid Wages in Florida
Employees have a right to receive payment for the work that they have done. Florida law protects this right. If you have been denied minimum wage, forced to work overtime without higher compensation, or have been required to work off the clock, you may have a legal claim against your employer.
The minimum wage law in Florida mandates that every qualified employee make at least $8.65 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage. In addition, Florida law requires that an employer pay their employees for all hours worked, including overtime hours. In certain situations, an employee is even entitled to higher rates of compensation when they work overtime.
What to Do If My Employer Didn’t Pay Me
If you are wondering, What rights do I have if my employer did not pay my commission or wages? Here are some critical steps to take.
Step 1: Gather Documentation
If your employer has wrongfully withheld your wages, gather as much documentation as possible. Keep records of any communications with your employer, including the date and time they occurred. In addition, keep any paychecks and time cards that could be relevant to your case.
Step 2: Contact Your Employer
If you have not already done so, reach out to your employer to find out why you did not receive your pay. If your employer is unwilling to resolve the issue, then you will probably need the help of an attorney.
Step 3: Contact an Employment Law Attorney
If you have not been successful in recovering your wages from your employer, it is probably time to talk to an attorney. An attorney can help you by:
- Negotiating with your employer,
- Advising you of your legal rights and responsibilities,
- Filing a legal claim, and
- Representing you in court if necessary.
At Brenton Legal, PA, our employment law attorneys have what it takes to help you recover your hard-earned wages.
Types of Damages If My Employer Didn’t Pay Me
If your employer has failed to pay you the compensation that you are owed, you can file a legal claim against them and seek something called damages. Damages aim to compensate you for the harms and losses that you suffered as a result of your employer withholding your wages. Some of the most common types of damages in wage dispute cases include the following.
When an employer fails to pay an employee, the most common type of damages is for any unpaid wages. This includes regular pay, overtime pay, bonuses, or commissions that the employee is entitled to.
Florida law allows for liquidated damages when minimum wage laws or overtime laws have been violated. These damages compensate the employee for the delay in getting their rightfully earned wages. Your wage dispute attorney can give you an estimate of how much you may be entitled to.
In some cases, an employee whose wages were wrongfully withheld may be entitled to statutory damages in addition to their unpaid wages and liquidated damages. For instance, if your employer violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), you may be entitled to statutory damages. These damages can provide much-needed monetary relief to a victim of wage theft.
Attorney Fees and Costs
If you prevail in your claim against your employer for unpaid wages, you may be awarded the cost of your attorney’s fees.
While these types of damages are rare, they are occasionally awarded when an employee can show that their employer acted in bad faith by wrongfully withholding their wages. An experienced wage dispute attorney will be able to help you fight for punitive damages if the facts of the case allow for it.
Brenton Legal Is Here for You
We understand that going without the wages that you have worked hard for can put a financial strain on both you and your family. But unfortunately, employers wrongfully withhold wages more often than you may think.
At Brenton Legal, we have years of experience fighting for our clients who have been treated unfairly in the workplace and who have been the victims of wage theft. We have helped numerous employees recover their unpaid wages, and we are here to help you as well.
If you are worried about the costs of hiring an employment law attorney, we also want you to know that we offer free consultations to all of our potential clients. If you would like to schedule a free, no-pressure consultation, you can contact us online or by phone.
Due to the Florida statute of limitations, you only have a limited amount of time to bring a claim for unpaid wages. So it’s essential that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible if you believe your employer has wrongfully withheld your wages.