New Tool May Help Florida Employees
Many employees throughout Florida have had wages unlawfully withheld and they may not even realize they are not receiving the full pay to which they are entitled under state and federal labor laws. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) now has a tool that can inform workers if their employer owes them unpaid wages. The Wage and Hour Division has created the “Workers Owed Wages” search tool, available online for any employees to access. By simply typing in a company name, you can almost instantly find out whether you are entitled to money for rightful back pay.
$4.3 million in back wages
The DOL conducts investigations into allegations of wage and hour violations involving numerous companies in Florida and across the United States. Often, you may not know that such an investigation ever took place. If the DOL finds that a company has violated its workers’ wage rights, it will collect the back wages deserved by workers and will hold it to pay to the denied workers. However, the government is not always able to track down all of the employees who deserve their share of the back pay, so the online search tool was created to help workers track down their fair share.
If your employer is on the database, the system will the check to see if your name is included in the list of workers to whom back pay is due. Once you follow a few instructions, the DOL will mail you a check for the appropriate amount. A DOL administrator stated that since the launch of the search tool, almost 250 employees have collected a total of $600,000 in back wages.
Many violations can lead to back wages
There are many different kinds of wage and hour law violations that can lead to an employer owing workers back wages, including the following:
- Failure to pay minimum wage;
- Failure to pay overtime wages to non-exempt workers;
- Misclassifying non-exempt employees as exempt to avoid overtime payments;
- Taking unlawful deductions from workers’ paychecks;
- Not reimbursing tipped employees to equal the minimum hourly wage;
- Not paying for all time worked; and
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
If an employer violates wage and hour laws for an extended period of time, it is not difficult for a single workers to be owed tens of thousands of dollar over the course of employment.
Just because your name does not appear on the database does not mean your employer has not violated the law. The DOL cannot investigate every single case of wage violations so if you believe you may be owed back wages, you should discuss your case with a qualified employment attorney as soon as possible.
Find out how an experienced Plantation, Florida employment lawyer can help you
Wage violations are more common than you may think and an employer may be stealing your rightfully earned wages without your knowledge or realization. At the Law Office of Robert S. Norell, P.A., we have successfully represented workers in many types of Florida wage law cases. We are committed to standing up for the rights of employees throughout the Plantation area, so please do not hesitate to call our office at 954-617-6017 to discuss any employment concerns you have today.