Florida law and federal FLSA provides protection for workers. Employers who violate the worker’s rights may be liable for damages to the worker. A common claim made by employees are for unpaid wages. A Wesley Chapel wage and hour lawyer can determine what claims a worker might have and what damages they may be entitled to.

If you are looking to file a claim for such damages, consult with an experienced Wesley Chapel personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Unpaid Wage Claims

The Florida Constitution and Florida Minimum Wage Act provides some of the protections afforded workers. One primary protection an employee has is the right to be paid the minimum wage rate. Florida employees must be paid no less than $8.10 per hour.

If the employee is working in a position in which gratuities are received, such as a waitress, Florida requires that employees be paid no less than $5.08 per hour.

Florida also requires that employees who work more than ten hours a day receive extra pay. Wesley Chapel wage and hour attorneys can discuss the various claims a worker may make for unpaid wages.

Employee Categories

There are two types of employee categories — exempt and nonexempt.  Exempt employees generally are those employees in administrative, professional and executive positions, contract workers, computer workers, and salespeople. Minimum wage laws generally do not apply to exempt employees.

Nonexempt employees generally are workers who get paid by the hour such as cashiers, bank tellers, and maids. Some tipped employees are also categorized as nonexempt. Waitresses and bartenders are the common type of worker that is in the nonexempt category. Generally, minimum wage laws apply to nonexempt employees.

There are a variety of categories and exceptions to the rules regarding exempt and nonexempt workers. A Wesley Chapel wage and hour attorney can assist in determining the appropriate category.

Damages for Unpaid Wages

Workers in Florida may collect damages if successful in their unpaid wage claim. Damages might include a monetary award for unpaid wages, liquidated damages which can be as much as the unpaid wages, cost, and attorney fees.

However, before bringing a claim for unpaid wages an employee must provide written notice to their employer concerning the hours claimed to be unpaid, the corresponding dates and hours for the wages claimed, the total amount due for the unpaid wages, and a statement regarding the intent to file a claim for unpaid wages.

The employer must respond within 15 days from the date the notice was received. If the employer fails to do so, a worker can then proceed with their unpaid wage claim.

Employer Retaliation

Sometimes workers do not want to assert their rights because they are afraid their employer will retaliate. However, Florida forbids employers from retaliating against workers that file a claim or discuss with other employees, filing a claim.

The types of employer retaliation often seen involves loss of job, demotion, decreased hours, or the creation of a work environment that is hostile. If an employer retaliates, workers may be entitled damages that are in addition to any damages an employee might recover in their unpaid pay claim. Such damages can be explained by a wage and hour attorney in Wesley Chapel.

Contacting a Wage and Hour Attorney

The laws pertaining to workers can be confusing and full of exceptions to each right given. Speaking with a Wesley Chapel wage and hour lawyer will ensure there is no confusion and the correct claims are filed for the employee’s situation.

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