One of the most egregious labor violations occurs when your employer exploits you by failing to pay you all the money you have earned. The process of recovering what is rightfully yours involves the federal government and can be daunting if you try it alone.

Your employer may have quietly paid you less than the minimum wage, failed to pay overtime, or used more blatant tactics like telling you to work late or come in early on your dime because you should have finished a project. Although you can file a complaint yourself, fighting against someone who holds power over you is stressful. Our experienced attorneys can help you comply with the process of reporting wage and hour violations in Tampa.

Wages and The Fair Labor Standards Act

Florida’s government does not include agencies that enforce state wage and hour laws, so an employee must rely on federal law and agencies to file a complaint. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the general rule is companies with at least two employees with revenues of at least $500,000 must pay the higher federal or state minimum wages to most employees. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, and recent efforts to raise it have fallen flat. Florida voters in 2020 voted to increase the minimum wage incrementally until it reaches $15.00 an hour in 2026. Currently, at $12.00 an hour, the rate will rise to $13.00 in September 2024 and will be adjusted for inflation after 2026.

Under federal law, employees are also entitled to their hourly wage plus one-half for any hours they work exceeding 40 in a week. Tipped employees are paid a lower wage that, when added to tips, meets or exceeds the state minimum wage. Company executives and managers are generally paid a salary for their efforts, and commissioned salespeople are also treated differently under federal law. Employees who believe their employers are accidentally or purposely underpaying them should discuss the situation with a skilled Tampa attorney at Feldman Legal Group, who can guide the process of reporting wage and hour violations.

How Wage and Hour Complaints Are Handled

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigates complaints based on information received from disgruntled employees or their attorneys. The WHD does not disclose any information to employers until the investigation is complete. Tampa Bay area employees’ complaints are investigated through the DOL office on Cypress Street in Tampa. Before contacting the WHD, employees need to gather specific information that includes:

  • The employee’s contact information, such as name, address, phone number
  • The employer’s contact information and the nature of the business
  • The employee’s job title and a description of duties
  • Extensive pay information: check stubs, rate of pay, method wages are paid, and how often the employee receives a paycheck
  • Details about the violations and dates they occurred

Investigations can take several weeks. Employees who have been shorted are entitled to back pay and sometimes additional payments. The WHD may also decide to sue an employer on an employee’s behalf, although this process is complicated, and a knowledgeable Tampa wage and hour violation lawyer should be involved.

No Discrimination or Retaliation

Once an investigation is complete and the employer is bound by its results, that employer cannot retaliate against complainants by firing them or discriminating against them in job assignments, cutting hours, or demotion. Retaliatory behavior is a federal offense and can lead to additional sanctions against the employer.

Our Tampa Attorneys Assist in Reporting Wage and Hour Violations

At Feldman Legal Group, our lawyers understand what is necessary when dealing with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. You should not wait too long to file a complaint because you only have three years for a willful violation and two for a non-willful one under the FLSA.

We can guide you through the process of reporting a wage and hour violation in Tampa, represent you in any interviews, and protect you if your employer becomes retaliatory at the end of the investigation. You work hard for your wages, and we will work hard to ensure you get them all.