The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a period of nearly unprecedented economic upheaval. There is a great amount of uncertainty over when life will turn back to normal, which has led to massive layoffs across the country. To hammer the point home, over three million Americans filed for unemployment in a single day.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who is currently unemployed or underemployed, you should assess whether or not you might have a valid wage claim against your current or former employer. While there is usually a statute of limitations for filing a wage claim in Florida, you should act with added urgency, as there is no guarantee that your employer will still be in business next month – or next week, even.
Florida has a higher minimum wage ($8.46 per hour) than the federal minimum, which is currently set at $7.25. Tipped employees, like those working in the hard-hit food & hospitality industry, can have a different minimum wage rate (as low as $5.44).
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to figure out how much your unpaid wages claim is worth. First, determine the time period for which you were not paid the proper amount. Calculate how much you were supposed to be paid by multiplying the hours worked over that period by the state minimum wage rate. Subtract the amount you were actually paid from this figure, and you will have a figure that points to how much you were shorted by your employer.
This is another common wage claim pursued against employers. The overtime rule in Florida is the same as the federal rule, which is that hourly workers must be paid 1.5 times the normal rate for overtime hours. Any time worked over 40 hours in a week is subject to the overtime rate. An important note here is that some workers are exempt from this overtime rate. To calculate the value of your unpaid overtime wage claim, simply apply the overtime rate to every minute worked over 40 hours in a week. Compare that to what you were actually paid, and you have the value of your claim.
Process for Filing a Wage Claim in Florida
You must notify your employer, in writing, of your wage claim. The notice must contain what you believe to be the value of your wage claim. Your employer has 15 days after receiving this notice to respond.
If you might have an unpaid wage claim, it is imperative that you act swiftly due to these uncertain economic conditions. Attorney Mitch Feldman is well-equipped to assess your situation and prescribe the best course of action regarding unpaid wage claims in Florida. Call the firm today at 1-855-284-3254 to get started.