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Wage Violations – What to Do?

Employees in Florida are protected by both federal and state law and employers are required to pay their workers fairly. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs wages across the country and prevents employers from taking advantage of their workers and paying too little for services rendered. The FLSA outlines numerous employee wage rights, including a national minimum wage that all employees are required to be paid, as well as overtime pay and who is exempt from this overtime pay. Florida state law supplements federal law by guaranteeing a higher minimum wage in Florida, as well as providing for an automatic increase in the minimum wage each year. Employers are required by law to stay up-to-date on all wage increases.

Wage ViolationsWhile the vast majority of employers treat their employees fairly, some do not. If you feel that a wage violation has occurred, it is well within your legal rights to bring a civil suit against your employer for unpaid or back wages. An experienced Florida employment lawyer can review all of your legal rights and help you obtain money that is rightfully yours.

What Should You Do When a Wage Violation Occurs?

When a wage violation occurs, employees need to follow the following steps closely in order to maximize their chances of winning their case and the money owed to them:

  • Contact an Attorney – before beginning any legal process, it is important to speak to an experienced Florida employment lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will review your case and help you determine if you have a legitimate wage violation claim. If your employer has been withholding pay, your next step will be to bring this violation to your employer’s attention.
  • Notify Employer in Writing – you must notify your employer in writing of the wage violation. This notification should clearly state that you intend to bring a civil suit and what wages you believe you are entitled to. It is also important to clearly outline the dates and/or times that correspond to the money you claim you were not paid.
  • Wait 15 Days – your employer has 15 days to either pay the total amount you claim you are owed or resolve the dispute with you. If your employer tries to settle with you for less than you deserve or disputes the claim altogether, your next step should be to go to court.
  • Bring Your Case to Court – if your claim is not settled, then you can bring your claim to court. A judge will review all of the evidence and determine if you are entitled to unpaid wages. The services of an experienced attorney is invaluable during this time. Your attorney will be able to present your case and the evidence clearly, to obtain a favorable outcome.

What Happens If I Win My Case?

If you win your case, the judge may order your employer to pay you:

  • Unpaid back wages
  • Liquidated damages
  • Reasonable attorney fees
  • Equitable relief
  • Punitive damages

Both Florida and federal law protect employees from retaliation if they bring a wage violation claim against their employer. In general, these laws prohibit an employer from retaliating or discriminating against an employee who is asserting their rights under the law. If your employer fired you because of your claim, then you may be able to receive compensation for this retaliation and for any harm you suffered because of the loss of your job.

Contact Our Miami Employment Lawyers Today

If you believe that you have been a victim of wage theft or unfair work practices, the steps you take can have a significant impact on your ability to collect the money you are rightfully owed. As such, it is critical that you call an experienced Miami employment lawyer immediately to learn more about your legal rights. Call the Law Office of Keith M. Stern, P.A. today at 888-315-8771. We can protect your rights during the process and ensure that your employer does not retaliate against you for seeking back wages or overtime pay.

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