Attorney Diligently Fighting For the Rights of Underpaid Employees in Palm Harbor
There are state and federal laws in place to protect employees from unfair labor practices, such as failing to pay you fairly. But unfortunately, there are still some individuals who are victimized by unethical employers who willingly and intentionally take measures to skirt the law. In other cases, wage violations may be accidental, but it is up to the employer to make good when the issue is brought to their attention.
Many workers are afraid to stand up to their employers for fear they will lose their job or suffer other adverse consequences, such as harassment and other forms of retribution. But the law is on your side and that’s where our Florida wage and hour claim attorneys can help.
If you have been underpaid, were paid “under the table,” have been refused overtime wages you deserve or suffered a form of employment discrimination, our legal team is here to assist. Regarded as one of Florida’s most reputable law firms, the team at the law offices of Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. is committed to helping workers like you to recover the compensation you rightfully deserve.
It’s vital that you seek help as soon as possible because the law does limit the timeframe for taking legal action or filing a claim. Contact the Palm Harbor law firm of Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. to schedule a confidential, free consultation session to discuss your case. Call 727-781-3433.
Legal FAQ: What are the Laws on Minimum Wage in Florida?
There are state laws and federal laws that may apply to your case. Federal laws apply nationwide, but Florida-based employers are also required to adhere to state employment laws too.
Unlike many states, Florida does not have a department dedicated to investigating and handling wage violations and overtime pay cases. Therefore, a case involving unpaid hourly wages or overtime violations may be resolved via a civil lawsuit or by filing a federal claim with the Department of Labor.
At the law firm of Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A., our legal team is committed to helping clients who have been the victim of unfair employment and business practices, including unpaid minimum wages and unpaid overtime.
Wage Law FAQs: What is the Minimum Wage?
There are two different minimum wage laws; one is at the federal level and the other is at the state level. In states like Florida, where the state minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage, the state wage prevails.
As of February 2017, the federal minimum wage was $7.25 per hour. This is governed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In Florida, the state minimum wage is $8.10 per hour. Since the $8.10 per hour minimum wage rate is higher than the federal minimum wage, this higher rate prevails.
For workers who are considered “tipped” employees such as bartenders and waitresses, the federal minimum wage is $2.13, while the Florida state minimum wage is $5.08 (reflecting a “tip credit” of $3.02 per hour). Since Florida’s rate of $5.08 per hour is higher than the federal minimum for tipped employees, this higher rate prevails.
To be paid as a tipped worker, you must earn at least $30 per month in tips and when the tips are added to the minimum wage, it must equal or exceed the minimum wage for non-tipped employees. Otherwise, your employer is required to provide you with additional compensation so the minimum wage is met.
Labor and Wage Violation FAQs: Am I Entitled to Receive Overtime Pay?
According to the FLSA, non-salaried employees who receive hourly wage must receive overtime pay at a rate of time and a half for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a given work week.
This rule also applies to salaried workers, with the exception of:
- “Outside” salespeople;
- White collar managerial staff;
- Professionals; and
- High-level administrative employees.
Florida Wage Law FAQs: How Long Do I Have to File a Wage Claim?
Under Florida wage laws, you have four years (or five years in the case of a “willful” violation) to seek compensation for unpaid wages and overtime.
Since this timeframe is longer than the federal timeframe of two years (or three years for “willful” violations), Florida law prevails.
Generally, the sooner you take action, the better your chances of seeing a positive resolution to your case. Your attorney can help you file a lawsuit or you may opt to file a complaint with the Department of Labor, which will investigate your claim and if sufficient grounds exist for your claim, they will seek compensation on your behalf.
Legal FAQ: How Much Can I Get in an Unpaid Wages Lawsuit in Florida?
Employment and labor laws allow you to seek out compensation for actual damages – the actual unpaid wages that you are owed, including regular pay and overtime pay – in addition to liquidated damages. Liquidated damages can be up to the amount owed in actual damages.
Therefore, if you are owed $5,000 in unpaid wages, you can seek out an additional $5,000 in liquidated damages, for a total of $10,000.
Notably, if you plan to seek out liquidated damages, your attorney will guide you through the process of issuing a written notification to your employer, who will have 15 calendar days to resolve the matter. If the case is not resolved, you will then have sufficient grounds to move forward and seek liquidated damages.
Legal FAQ: Do I Need a Wage and Hour Claims Lawyer?
An employment and wage attorney can go a long way toward helping you find the justice you deserve. It can be frightening to go up against your employer, especially when you’re still working for that individual, as you may fear retribution or a job loss, which can obviously have a very negative financial impact.
When you hire a Palm Harbor employment lawyer like Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A., you can maximize your chances of seeing a positive resolution in a prompt timeframe. If you opt to file a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor, your lawyer can be very helpful in guiding you through the multi-stage process, while helping you to ensure that your written statements are clear, concise and compelling.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a wage violation, an on-the-job injury or some form of employment discrimination, contact the Palm Harbor law firm of Jeffrey W. Hensley, P.A. to schedule a fully confidential and free consultation session to discuss your case. Call 727-781-3433.