Miami Overtime and Unpaid Wages
In Miami you are entitled to receive compensation for your work. This includes receiving full payment on time, specially Miami overtime and unpaid wages. Every worker is entitled to fair and correct pay according to the law. You are no different. If you live in Miami, your employer is obligated by Florida laws to ensure that you do not end up cheated out of pay for hours. When you have honestly worked the hours you shouldn’t be cheated in over time or unpaid wages.
Many workers are cheated out of their honest earned pay because some employers cut corners in complying with relevant laws. Research shows that in the 10 most populous states in the US, up to 2.4 million workers lose $8 billion annually in unpaid wages. This includes Miami overtime and unpaid wages. That is up to a quarter of their yearly pay. Even worse, the workers most affected are the ones that can least afford to be cheated out of the money. Up to 17% of victims are low wage workers.
What can you do?
If you believe that you have been cheated out of your fair wages you need to fight for your compensation. If you are a victim of unpaid overtime or unpaid wages in Miami you may file a Miami overtime and unpaid wages claim against your employer. At Peregonza Law Group, we accept cases involving a wide range of overtime and minimum wage related issues from workers around the nation.
How can we help?
We help workers that have been wrongfully denied Miami overtime or unpaid wages. We also help victims of underpaid or wages paid unfairly or workers who have been forced to work off the clock. Our Miami overtime and unpaid wages lawyers sand Doral employment attorneys have helped workers like you recover just compensation for their lost wages. In many cases there is also a possibility to sometimes recover punitive damages against employers that intentionally withhold pay.
Contact us today for information on how the law affects your Miami overtime and unpaid wages case. The consultation is free and you do not have to make any decision or have any obligation if you are not ready to. Fill this form to find out if you may have a case.
Common claims for Miami overtime and unpaid wages
In Miami, Florida and federal law require that all employers maintain standard overtime and minimum wage practices. Despite this, there are several ways employers violate these laws. This may lead to miscalculated overtime and unpaid wages in Miami.
You should know that you are being cheated if your employer refuses to compensate you for extra time doing work related tasks. You should be compensated even for the time it takes, to wear uniforms or work-related clothing. This may include protective gear like goggles and safety equipment.
Other instances of claims for Miami overtime and unpaid wage include the following:
Failure to pay minimum wage
Although the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hourFlorida has its own minimum wage law. Under this law, the minimum wage payable in the state as of 2019 is $8.46 per hour. What this means is that as a resident of Miami Florida, you are entitled to the maximum wage rate applicable.
However, many workers are still cheated out of their minimum wage entitlements. Day rate workers and tipped employees are particularly at risk of not receiving overtime and/or unpaid paid wages because of how they are paid. In Miami, Florida law allows employers to adjust for tips when paying their workers’ wages. But it can also be easy for these wages to fall below the minimum.
Failure to pay for all hours worked and unpaid wages
You are entitled to pay for all the time spent working for your employer. It does not matter whether you are on the employer’s premises or not. All of that time is regarded as time spent on the clock. If you’re not paid for that time, that is unpaid wages. These wages are compensable and should be paid. You should speak with a Miami overtime and unpaid wages lawyer to learn more about your rights.
Emails & work related time
For instance, all the time that you spend checking and replying to emails from home may be work time. Cleaning equipment and putting on equipment may be considered on the clock time as well. Even the time you spend undergoing security checks, turning on equipment or taking short breaks is compensable. This time may seem minimal but it can amount to Miami overtime or unpaid wages. You could be loosing a lot of money that is rightfully earned.
If your employer fails to properly track your time, you may be working for much longer than you are being paid and may be a victim of overtime and unpaid wages.
Misclassified as exempt for overtime and unpaid wages
There are certain employees that are classified as exempt from the overtime laws. Since Florida does not have its own overtime law, it applies federal law instead. Under the federal law, all employees except those exempted are entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours per week.
Unfortunately, some workers are wrongfully classified as exempt from the overtime laws. This often happens because the employer does not understand the law or because they are intentionally trying to avoid paying Miami overtime and unpaid wages.
Pooling tips with non-tipped employees
Since tipped employees get paid less than minimum wage, they rely on their tips. Many need tips to bring their total wage up to minimum wage level. Employers sometimes engage in tip pooling. Tip pooling is when all collected tips are put in a general pool which is then divided amongst tipped workers.
This can be problem. the problem arises when non-tipped workers wrongly share in the tip pool. In some cases a tipped workers’ hourly pay may fall beneath the required minimum wage. This scenario may cause that worker to be a possible victim of Miami overtime and unpaid wages.
Failure to pay overtime
Some employers simply fail to pay overtime and unpaid wages or incorrectly calculate what they should pay workers. This can occur due to record keeping infractions where the employer cannot correctly tell how long the employee has worked.
Paying ‘comp time’ instead of overtime
It is wrong and illegal for an employer to pay ‘comp time’ instead of Miami overtime or unpaid wages. Comp time often counts as hours towards vacation or sick time instead of the money that the worker should get.
If you have been paid comp time instead of overtime pay, you may be entitled to back pay for all the overtime you have worked. You should consult with a Miami overtime and unpaid wages lawyer.
Wage theft by failure to pay overtime and unpaid wages
When your employer intentionally deprives you of what you are entitled to under the wage laws, their actions may amount to wage theft. Wage theft may be for failure to pay overtime and unpaid wages. It can occur in several instances including intentional misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime laws or withholding tips.
Wage theft ordinance
Miami-Dade County specifically passed a Wage Theft Ordinance to combat wage theft in the county. If you have been a victim of wage theft, you may be entitled to file a complaint against your employer and recover what you are owed in back pay.
What workers are exempt from the overtime pay laws?
In Miami, Florida does not have any specific laws for overtime pay. This means the overtime provisions contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act apply in the state. But not everyone working in the state is legally eligible for overtime pay. It also does not mean that the responsibility to pay overtime is imposed on every employer.
There are certain categories of workers that are exempt from the law. This includes workers in executive, administrative and professional positions.
The exempted individuals include the following:
Employees of this category are those that earn not less than $455 per week. They have duties that include managing a business or a recognized department in the business. They should also regularly direct the work of two or more employees and have input in hiring and firing decisions.
This category of employees includes those that are primarily concerned with the management of the business. They exercise discretion and independent judgment on matters crucial to the company. They also earn at least $455 per week.
The test for this category of employees is that they have duties that require advanced knowledge. This knowledge should be science related and predominantly intellectual in nature. It should also have been acquired after a long period of learning at a specialized institution and the employee should not earn less than $455 a week.
Commissioned sales employees:
This category of employees work predominantly for commission. However, more than half of their earnings must come from commissions and they should earn at least one and a half time the minimum wage per hour.
IT experts are exempted if they earn at least $455 per week or not less than $27.63 per hour. They must be employed as a systems analyst, computer programmer or similarly skilled worker in the computer field.
Highly compensated workers:
Workers that are paid more than $100,000 per year are highly compensated under the law. These employees’ duties must however include non-manual work of the executive, administrative or professional nature.
The Fair Labor Standards Act only applies to employees. This means that if you do not fall within the legal definition of an employee, you may be exempted. What employers often do however is wrongly label you an independent contractor so they can avoid payroll taxes.
Are you exempt?
These categories of exempt workers help you understand if you are being unfairly exempted from being paid Miami overtime and unpaid wages. If your job description does not fall within any of these, there is a high probability that you are being underpaid. It is always recommended that you seek the advice of a Miami overtime and unpaid wages lawyer.
What time is considered overtime?
Every hour that you work beyond the statutory maximum of 40 hours per week is overtime. You are entitled to be paid for overtime properly. You should not only be paid for working overtime, but you are also entitled to payment at the statutory rate.
Although you should note that the law does not specify a minimum or maximum number of hours that you must work per week. It however specifies that any hour you work beyond 40 work hours in a week should be counted towards overtime.
Work related tasks are often ignored by employers
The problem with many employers is that they fail to consider a substantial amount of time spent doing work-related tasks as part of work hours. For instance, if your employer gives you short breaks of less than 20 minutes, that time should be counted as part of your work hours.
If your total ‘official’ time worked during the week is already up to 40 hours, those short breaks that were uncounted may count towards overtime.
How to calculate what you are owed in overtime and unpaid wages
The law stipulates the rate at which you should be paid for working overtime. This rate should be one and a half times your normal hourly wage. A Miami overtime and unpaid wages lawyer can guide you through a proper calculation. In essence, if your employer pays you for overtime at your ordinary hourly rate, you are being cheated of your correct wages.
Time and a half
Here’s how to calculate what you should actually be earning. If you are paid $10 per hour, that is your normal wage. This is what you will be entitled to for the 40 normal hours you work in a week. But for overtime, you should be paid one and a half time your normal wage. This means you should earn your normal $10 plus an extra $5. That’s a total of $15 for every overtime hour you work.
Penalties against employers for breaching laws on Miami overtime and unpaid wages
If you decide to file a complaint or pursue a lawsuit against your employer, you may be able to recover your back pay. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Florida’s minimum wage law, you can recover your unpaid wages and liquidated damages.
Liquidated damages will include civil money penalties in an amount equal to the amount of your unpaid wages. This means that if your unpaid wages amount to $1,000, you may also be able to sometimes recover liquidated damages of a$1,000.
Intention to sue
In order to receive these damages though, you must inform your employer of your intention to sue. You need to give them a notice of 15 calendar days within which they can decide whether to settle your claim or not.
If they fail to settle within those 15 days, you can either file a complaint with the Department of Labor or institute a lawsuit against them.
How long do you have to file a lawsuit?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you only have 2 years to file your lawsuit. This time begins to run from the date that your employer violated the Act or the date that you learned of the violation. Consulting a Miami overtime and unpaid wages lawyer will help to clarify the exact time limit for you.
If your employer intentionally or willfully violated the Act, the limitation period will be extended to 3 years from when you discovered the violation.
What if your employer retaliates against you?
It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees that fight for their rights under the wage laws. The Act protects you from suffering revenge or retaliatory acts from your employer.
What is retaliation?
Such acts include demoting you, assigning you to an unfavorable shift, cutting down your job duties or reducing your hours. You may be able to file a separate lawsuit against your employer if they have retaliated against you. A Miami overtime and unpaid wages lawyer can help you understand your rights in the event of a retaliation.
How much does a Miami overtime and unpaid wages lawyer cost?
At Peregonza Law Group, our primary focus is on securing fair compensation for the Miami overtime and unpaid wages you have been unfairly deprived of. Our attorneys will fight aggressively to recover your Miami overtime and unpaid wages and may attempt civil penalties against your employers.
You don’t have to worry about paying our lawyers right away. In most cases we will only charge you if we win a favorable settlement or award. We can sometimes even argue that your employer should be responsible to pay attorney fees for you.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, fill our client intake form for a free, no-obligation consultation.