Pay Disputes in Florida

Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott > Practice Areas > Pay Disputes in Florida

What to Do When You’re Employer Doesn’t Pay You What They Owe You?

You spend a lot of time at your job and work hard for your pay.  You deserve all of the pay to which you are legally entitled.  We will vigorously pursue your rights for fair pay for your work.

Wage Employment Attorney

Wage laws are the bedrock upon which the modern economy sits. Wage regulation determines how much each employee is to be paid and when. A large percentage of consumers are wage earners, and if wages are not paid on time, the modern economy could not function with any semblance of regularity.

Unfortunately, violations of wage and hour laws are rampant across the country, including in Florida. Wage theft costs the economy billions of dollars every year. When an employee of a business puts his or her time into working for the business, that employee is entitled to the compensation that is due.

All consultations are free and confidential, If the firm takes your case, you pay no upfront costs or fees and pay nothing if you don’t recover compensation. Complete our web form or call today!
(800) 563-1409

Overtime Violations

Unless you are specifically classified as an “exempt” worker, your employer must pay you overtime wages for any hours you work over 40 hours in a workweek. The employer must pay overtime wages at a rate of at least one and one-half times (150%) your regular hourly rate.

Your employer cannot change the overtime laws. Your employer cannot avoid paying overtime by enacting a no-overtime policy or by getting you to agree to a special deal.  Your employer must pay you according to the law.  Here are some common overtime violations.

Unpaid or Improperly Calculated Overtime Pay

Overtime rules are generally based on a single workweek. Non-exempt employees may be paid a number of ways:  weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.  But, your employer must calculate overtime on the actual 40-hour workweek; the pay period does not matter. Employers cannot average hours over two or more weeks.  Likewise, your employer cannot get you to agree not to follow the overtime rules.

Comp Time Instead of Overtime Pay

Compensatory time is paid time off generally granted to an hourly employee instead of overtime wages.  This is often referred to as “comp time.”  For example, an employer must offer comp time to be taken later rather than paying overtime wages.  Comp time can sometimes be legal, but the employer must pay it at 150%, the same rate as overtime wages.

Employees Not Allowed to Report Work over 40 Hours Per Week

Many employers have rules that no overtime work will be permitted or paid for unless authorized in advance.  Some employers choose to ignore when hourly employees work overtime or do not allow employees to report overtime hours. This violates the overtime rules.

Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors

In today’s tough economy, employers face increasing pressure to lower wage and benefit costs. Not surprisingly, some employers will resort to not following the rules regarding classifying which employees are entitled to overtime.

Has your employer not paid you overtime because you are an “exempt” employee? Or, has your employer not paid you overtime and benefits because you are a contract employee or independent contractor?   Your employer’s thinking is often wrong.  You then are losing out on the pay and benefits you deserve.

Exempt employees are by law employees not entitled to receive overtime pay.  Whether or not you are exempt can be confusing.  However, it has nothing to do with your job title or job description, or whether you are paid a salary or hourly. What you actually do at your job on a daily basis determine whether or not you are legally entitled to overtime.

Contract Employee Violations

Contract employees or independent contractors include self-employed workers who are not covered by the tax and wage laws that apply to regular employees. Employers do not pay Social Security, Medicare, or federal unemployment insurance taxes on contract employees or independent contractors.  Thus, employers are strongly motivated to classify workers into this category to save costs.

You are probably an employee and not an independent contractor or contract employee if the company controls what you do and how you do it, and treats you like other regular employees.  You thus may be missing out on valuable overtime wages and employee benefits.

If you believe that your wages are being improperly reduced or modified, or you are not being paid overtime despite reporting a significant amount of overtime hours to your employer, you should contact the firm as soon as possible to ensure your right to your wages.

Common Employer Wage Practices That May Be Illegal

  • Paid you a salary and no overtime when you spent less than 50% of your time managing other employees;
  • Paid you a salary and no overtime with a title like assistant manager, assistant branch manager, or working lead;
  • Paid you hourly but did not pay you overtime when you worked over 40 hours during any week;
  • Paid you hourly and did not pay you for work done during or after your scheduled shift. This includes uniform and clothes hanging time , the time it takes you to prepare your workstation, or the required time it takes you to clean up.
  • Paid you you hourly, but asked  you to perform work via cell telephone, email, Facebook, etc. when you are not clocked in;
  • Paid you hourly, but asking you to work through your breaks and unpaid meal periods without payment;
  • Founded your work time down to the nearest 15 minute increment (i.e., you clock in at 7:56 am and your employer rounds your time to 8:00 am); or
  • Hired you as an “independent contractor,” “contract employee,” or “contingent worker” and not paying you overtime or benefits like regular employees.

Other Florida Employment Claims

Here are employment claims that we regularly pursue for employees:

You work hard and spend a lot of time at your job.  Your employer responds by firing you or treating you differently because of a legally protected trait such as your race, gender, or age.  Or, your employer retaliates against you after you complain about being treated differently. You likely had no warning your employer would mistreat you this way.

You have the right to work in a workplace which is free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  Patrick Elliott will vigorously pursue your Florida employment claim.  The firm is well-versed in the excuses employers will try to use for terminating you against the law.

Typical Actions Employers Take Against You That May Violate the Law:

  • Firing, demoting, or not giving you a raise because of your age, race, or gender;
  • Allowing a manager, fellow employee, or customer to make repeated sexual comments to you such that it changes how you work;
  • Firing or transferring you after you complain of being mistreated or about unlawful actions by your employer;
  • Not accommodating your medical condition so that you can perform your job

Contact a Florida Employment Lawyer Today

If you have questions or concerns about your wages and uncompensated overtime, you should contact the legal team at The Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott, LLC. Patrick Elliott assists clients with an array of employment matters including wage disputes, unpaid overtime, unemployment benefits, etc. For immediate assistance, do not hesitate to contact Employment Attorney Patrick Elliott today.