At Morgan & Morgan, our Florida wage and hour attorneys have the resources and experience necessary to handle claims including, but not limited to the following: failure to pay; unpaid meal breaks; minimum wage violations; improper denial of overtime wages; Chinese overtime; uncompensated work time; employee misclassifications; and other Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations.
If you believe that you have been denied overtime or paid less than is required by law, our Orlando overtime attorneys may be able to help. To find out if we can help you recover compensation for unpaid wages, please fill out our no cost, no obligation case review form today.
If you are involved in a dispute with your employer, your decision to hire an attorney or pursue the matter alone can have a direct impact on whether your employment rights are ultimately protected. In most situations, the company, especially a large corporation, will have more resources than its employees. The company may have already legal counsel, or will hire its own team of attorneys to help limit their exposure and reduce the risk of litigation. In these cases, you may need an employment lawyer who can protect your rights and improve your chances of filing a successful claim.
It can be difficult to decide whether an employer’s actions are illegal, and speaking our Orlando wage and hour attorneys can help you make this important distinction. We can also address any concerns you may have about negative consequences at work and investigate potential wage and hour violations which may be creating hardships for you and your family. Our Florida wage and hour lawyers have a successful track record of recovering compensation for employees who were wrongfully denied proper pay, and offer free consultations to any worker who believes their rights have been violated.
The Fair Labor Standards Act sets mandatory minimum wage rates and requires most employees, who are known as “non-exempt,” to receive overtime pay for each hour worked over 40 in a single workweek. The FLSA also requires covered employers to keep time and pay records for their employees. Compensable time, which is any time spent working for the benefit of the employer, regardless of whether the employee is on the employer’s premises, is also defined under the FLSA. The FLSA requires that all compensable time must be paid and prohibits “off-the-clock” work.
Employees who were illegally refused overtime, underpaid, or misclassified may be able to bring a suit against their Florida employer for an FLSA violation. Lawsuits can be filed as individual lawsuits or collective actions.
Individual Lawsuits: The FLSA provides employees the right to a file private action against an employer for unpaid minimum wages, overtime, and/or monetary damages if wrongfully discharged or discriminated against for filing a lawsuit.
Collective Actions: If multiple employees suffer similar FLSA violations, they may be able to file a collective action to recover unpaid wages.
Some common wage and hour claims involve the following:
Independent contractors may have legal recourse through a wage and hour lawsuit against their employer. The fact that a worker is called an independent contractor should have no bearing on whether overtime pay is permitted and/or required. The nature of the work and the relationship with the employer will determine whether overtime pay is required. In some cases, employers have intentionally mislabeled employees as independent contractors to avoid paying any overtime wages.
In some cases, an employer may try to save money by compensating employees with Chinese overtime instead of regular overtime pay. If an employee does not meet the criteria required for the payment of Chinese overtime, they are entitled to traditional overtime pay—time and a half of their regular hourly wage.
The following requirements must be met for an employer to use Chinese overtime:
If an employee meets these criteria, an employer may pay them Chinese overtime for hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Chinese overtime is calculated at half of the employee’s hourly rate, rather than one and a half times the employee’s rate.
Salaried employees are not automatically exempt from overtime wages simply because they are paid on a salary basis. To be ineligible to collect overtime pay, a worker must receive a salary which is equal to or greater than $455 per week AND perform the job duties of an exempt employee.
Under the FLSA, employees are entitled to the difference between the amount they were paid and the amount they would have received had their waged been calculated properly. Additionally, employees may recover an equal amount as liquidated damages or interest, as well as attorneys’ fees. For instance, if an employee is awarded $3000 in back wages, they may also be entitled to an additional $3000 in liquidated damages, bringing their total recovery to $6000 plus attorneys’ fees.
In Florida, employees are allowed to sue for compensation owed for up to two years prior to the filing of the case. In some instances, where the court determines the employer “knew” or “willfully disregarded” FLSA regulations, Florida employees may be permitted to recover up to three years of back pay.
Employer retaliation against an employee who files an unpaid wage claim is strictly forbidden by law. Employers may not demote, reduce an employee’s hours, assign an employee an undesirable shift, reduce job duties, or give intentionally false poor performance reviews when a claim is filed. In addition to unpaid wages, employees may be entitled to additional compensation if their employer engages in retaliation.
If you have been denied proper wages, you may be able to collect back wages, as well as other damages, through a wage and hour lawsuit. To learn more, please fill out our free evaluation form to have your case reviewed by one of our Orlando wage and overtime lawyers.