In the state of Florida, federal and state law mandates when and how much employees are required to be paid at a minimum. If your employer has not paid you properly or in a timely fashion, then you may be entitled to recover not only your unpaid wages, but also the penalties that are intended to punish your employers for wage violations. Read on to learn more about how to calculate and claim the money that you are owed. 


Employees are required to be paid the highest minimum wage that applies in the state where they work, no matter if it’s the federal, state, or local rate. The minimum wage in Florida is $8.56 an hour in 2020. Due to the fact that Florida’s minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage ($7.25), you are entitled to receive the state minimum wage. If the minimum wage is higher in the city or county where you work, you are entitled to that amount. To calculate your unpaid minimum wage claim, you should find the difference between what you were actually paid per hour and what you legally should have been paid per hour, and then multiply that amount by the total amount of hours that you worked. This means that if your employer paid you $2 less than the minimum wage for 120 hours of work, you are entitled to $240. If your job provides tips, then your employer may pay you a lower hourly wage, as long as you make enough in tips to bring your total hourly earnings to at least the state minimum wage. Employers in Florida may pay tipped employees as little as $5.54 per hour (as of 2020). If an employee is unable to earn enough in tips to earn at least the state minimum wage, however, then the employer has to pay the difference. 


Unpaid Overtime


One of the most common wage violations by employers is failing to pay the overtime premium. While Florida does not have its own overtime law, Florida employers are still subject to the federal overtime standard, which requires them to pay eligible employees overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. It’s important to note that not all employees are entitled to earn overtime. Even though hourly, nonexempt employees have a right to overtime, other categories of employees are exempt. Outside salespeople and “white collar employees who do professional, managerial, and high-level administrative work are the most common exemptions. Your employer needs to prove that you fit into one of these narrow exemptions if they don’t pay you overtime. If you are owed overtime, your unpaid wages are the difference between what you should have been paid and what you were paid. Employees are entitled to time-and-a-half for overtime hours, which means that they are owed an extra 50% of their hourly rate, on top of their regular pay. If you are usually paid $16 an hour, for example, you should be paid $24 an hour for overtime work. 


If you are seeking compensation for unpaid wages, call Behren Law Firm in Weston, FL today.