Wage theft is not about an emboldened stranger who accosts you in your company’s parking lot and flees with your paycheck. It is more insidious than that because it is your employer stealing from you.
You are not alone if your employer shorted your hours, failed to pay overtime, or classified you as an independent contractor to save on Social Security taxes. Workers across the U.S. have recovered more than $3 billion in unpaid wages over the past few years. If you have a problem with your boss and your paycheck, a Tampa wage theft lawyer is ready to solve it. Reach out to our experienced employment attorney at Feldman Legal Group for help with your case today.
How Employers Steal from Employees
In wage disputes, unfortunately, the division of power is unequal because employers have extensive control over employees, including the power to dismiss them. That makes it difficult when an employer is unlawfully stealing employee wages, often subtly and in hopes employees will not complain because they are happy to be employed. Some common instances of wage theft include:
Many employees tend to let it go when an employer asks them to stay late to finish a project or work over lunch, only to find they were not compensated for those precious hours. Our Tampa wage theft attorneys believe employees should be paid for every minute they work.
Taking Advantage of Minimum Wage
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the federal minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. Floridians in 2020 voted to increase the state minimum wage by $1.00 annually until it reaches $15.00 an hour in 2026.
Florida employers cannot choose to pay the lower federal rate. Along with minimum wage, they must pay time-and-a-half to employees for hours that exceed a 40-hour work week. Executives and some managers are paid salaries and generally are not eligible for FLSA protection. Commissioned employees are also treated differently, although failing to pay commissions earned is also wage theft.
Employers pay tipped employees a base hourly wage that must equal or exceed Florida’s minimum wage when added to their tips.
Employees who believe they are being cheated can contact an aggressive Tampa wage theft attorney at our firm who can file a lawsuit against the employer or represent them before the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
A common way employers conduct wage theft is to misclassify employees as independent contractors who are not protected by FLSA and not subject to withholding taxes the employer must match. The downside is this trick will affect the employee’s Social Security benefits at retirement.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations § 788.16, the entire work relationship must be considered to determine independent contractor status. These workers are generally considered in business for themselves, with more autonomy over the work they do for a client.
Our Tampa Wage Theft Attorney Seeks to Make Employees Whole
Keeping a log of hours worked and documenting pay shortages you believe are no accident is a good idea. We will use this information to make your employer pay what he took from you. Your employer must also be notified in writing that you intend to pursue remedies, which we can do for you.
We can represent you in an FLSA complaint and file a lawsuit against your employer if warranted, even if you are a commissioned salesperson. Remedies include the wages and overtime pay you were entitled to, liquidated damages for intentional FLSA violations, and injunctive relief in which the court forces the employers’ compliance to regulations. Whether you suspect your employer is stealing from you or are certain, consult with our Tampa wage theft lawyer for guidance, help, and answers to your questions.