When you go to work, you have the right to expect full and fair payment for the hours you are on the clock. Many employees are eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay, yet employers can sometimes take steps to underpay workers and save money. If you think this is happening to you, you have the right to speak out about wage theft and unfair pay practices.
It is in your interests to know what type of employee category you are in. This will help you determine if what you are experiencing counts as a violation of your rights and whether you should pursue legal action. You have the right to expect and fight for fair pay, no matter what type of job you have.
Your rights as a worker
There are both state and federal laws that outline the rights of Florida workers. One of the most important of these is the right to fair pay. Employers may try to misclassify an employee in an effort to avoid paying minimum wage or underpaying overtime even if the worker put in more than 40 hours in a week. Other types of unfair pay practices include:
- Failing to pay less than minimum wage, even by a small amount
- Deducting too much from workers who earn tips
- Deducting pay for wages paid in food or meals
- Asking a worker to perform tasks before or after clocking in
These are all indications that you may not be getting the full amount of pay you are rightfully owed. You may not be immediately aware that your employer is underpaying you, but you do have the right to speak up as soon as you become aware of the problem. Underpaying workers can be an ongoing problem where you work, and seeking legal guidance can help you understand how to move forward.
What’s next for you?
Workers who experience unfair treatment from their employers may be afraid to speak out. You might be concerned that no one will believe you, or you may fear that complaining could lead to your termination or other forms of retaliation. This can be an intimidating process, but you do not have to fight back alone.
You will find it beneficial to work with an experienced attorney who is closely familiar with wage and hour laws and knows how to protect your rights. If you are unsure of what to do or whether you are a victim of any form of wage theft, it can help to start with an assessment of your case.