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What if my employer does not follow the state minimum wage law?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Employment Law

For hourly workers in Florida, every dollar counts. With that, employers are expected to adhere to the law regarding the state minimum wage. A wage dispute in which an employer is allegedly not paying workers what they are entitled to reflects poorly on that employer. It also causes a litany of problems for the worker.

In many instances, these workers who rely on their employer paying the minimum wage are reluctant to complain due to fear of retaliation. However, if there are threats or adverse job actions due to an employee asking for what they are legally supposed to receive, this could warrant a legal complaint to get what it owed.

Workers should know the new minimum wage law

Understanding the minimum wage law is particularly important in the current climate because the law is set to change raising the amount. Workers have options if their employer refuses to follow the law regarding wages.

On Sept. 30, the minimum wage law rises to $12 per hour for hourly employees and $8.98 for tipped employees. This is an increase of one dollar from what it was previously. This annual change will continue through 2026 when workers are set to earn $15 per hour.

While this law is in place, it does not mean that every employer will follow it. Workers who are either unsure of their rights or know they are not getting paid what they should be under the law can take steps to rectify the situation.

State law prohibits employers from discriminating or taking any adverse action against employees who want to be paid according to state law. Workers can file a complaint if they choose to. If a person is deprived of their rightful pay, they have other ways to hold the employer accountable.

A civil action can be filed. The employer must first be informed in writing and the employee also needs to disclose that they intend to take legal action. The employer will have 15 days to pay what the employee is owed. If there is a legal claim and the employee is found to have been wronged, they can get their back pay and damages.

Workers do not need to accept mistreatment

For hourly workers, making ends meet can be difficult enough without wondering if an employer is paying what they are legally obligated to. In some cases, workers were completely unaware that they were not receiving what they were supposed to receive in pay. In others, the employer is willfully failing to pay and trying to intimidate workers into simply accepting it.

This is true for the minimum wage, but it also refers to overtime, the Fair Labor Standards Act, unpaid bonuses, commission disputes, not getting severance pay and other wage disputes.

Before letting employers behave illegally and deprive workers of their pay, it is imperative to know that the minimum wage law is being updated. If employers do not follow the new law, employees have legal steps they can take to get what they are owed.