Despite what your current or former employer might have you falsely believe, you have rights under Hillsborough County Ordinances, Florida law, and in some case federal law.Whether or not your employer regarded you as an independent contractor or an employee has no bearing on your actual status. Employees are often taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers who only value the bottom line instead of the rights of their employees.
If the company or person that you worked with or contracted with, failed to compensate you the full amount you’ve earned, then you have legal options available to you. We are here to help you recover any wages to which you are entitled.
1. You are an employee or independent contractor who has performed work in Hillsborough County; and
2. The company or person you worked for failed to pay or underpaid the appropriate wage for your work, including but not limited to:
(a) Failure to pay agreed upon wage rate;
(b) Failure to pay for time worked just before you put in your notice or were terminated;
(c) Incorrectly calculating overtime;
3. The amount of wages owed is more than $60;
4. A reasonable amount of time has elapsed from when work was performed and when the wages should have been paid.
First and foremost: Call our firm. While not required, you have the right to have an attorney and have your attorney can act as your representative during all proceedings and it’s highly suggested you seek an employee right’s attorney.
Call the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Services: They will be happy to assess your situation and provide information on which options are available to you, including:
Referring you to the Florida State Department of Labor
Filing a claim for mediation with the 13th Judicial Mediation and Diversions Services Program
If the determine that mediation is your best option, we will assist you with filing the claim and the 13th Judicial Mediation and Diversions Services Program will send a notice to the employer. During mediation there are two available outcomes:
Successful mediation: all wages are paid
Unsuccessful mediation: if you qualify, the matter is referred to Bay Area Legal Services, or you can find private legal counsel
If mediation is unsuccessful, Patrick K. Elliott will then discuss and advise you on your best options available for your case. These could include:
Terminating the claim
Proceeding to civil court
Proceeding to an administrative hearing held by our Code Enforcement Board.
If your case proceeds to an administrative hearing a ruling will be made for you or the employer. At the administrative hearing, the hearing officer could rule for or against you. A ruling in your favor could result in the following compensation:
Full or Partial Recovery of Your Unpaid Wages;
Full Recovery of Your Wages plus additional damages are available that are up to two times the original amount of wages that your employer wrongfully withheld;
However, it’s important to consult and obtain legal counsel that is knowledgable and experienced in Wage and Hour Disputes. Alternatively, your claim could also be dismissed or, if it’s found that you unjustly filed your claim for harassment purposes or to retaliate against your former employer, you could also be liable for he administrative costs.
As opposed to other legal methods, there is not cost to filing a complaint at this stage. While you do not need an attorney, your current or former employer will likely have a law firm preset. Therefore you deserve adequate legal representation.
There are no guarantees in litigation;
The claim could be resolved prior to court, or through court, with a ruling enforceable by the court if that is the outcome.