Many employers believe they can get away with paying their employees less than they have earned. It frequently comes back to bite the employer, as evidenced in a recent instance where firefighters received over $360,000 in unpaid overtime over the course of the last three years.
In Florida, employers need to pay their workers one and a half times their hourly wage once they meet overtime requirements. Therefore, if employees made the minimum wage of $8.25, then any overtime pay qualifies for $12.38. Any employee who works more than 40 hours a week will receive any overtime that exceeds that amount. If that occurs to you, then it is important to proceed wisely to try to recover those wages.
Gather documents to support your case
Before threatening a lawsuit, it is a good idea to speak with your employer first about the matter. Occasionally, these disputes are simple misunderstandings. Before seeing your employer, you will want to collect your employment contract, bank statements, pay stubs and time cards. On your own, you should determine how much your boss owes you based on Florida’s overtime laws.
Set up a meeting with your employer
It is advisable to set up a meeting ahead of time so your employer carves out enough time during the day to talk with you in-depth. You need to present the evidence you have collected and state how much you owe. Some will be more than happy to pay you. In other cases, you may not hear back from your boss about setting up this meeting. You may need to send a demand letter to get your boss to take you seriously.
Review legal options
Other states have specific agencies where you can file a wage dispute claim. Florida has no such agency, but you can file a lawsuit if your employer becomes uncooperative. By filing a lawsuit, an employer cannot retaliate against you in any way.