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Florida wage claims: Lawsuits re wage-and-hour law on the rise

In the time period from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013 almost 8,000 lawsuits were filed across the country for unfair wage practices. Some employers in Florida may be surprised to know that, since the year 1990, the number of cases regarding wage-and-hour law has increased some 518 percent. Some of the wage claims were for being misclassified while others are about overtime pay.

Some employees are alleging that they have been classified by their employers as contractors, but in reality they are not. It is believed that employers do this in order to avoid paying taxes, overtime and benefits such as health insurance on employees. However, employers are not allowed to classify employees as contractors unless they meet certain requirements.

Other cases are filed because the employee believes that he or she has been denied monies owed to them. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, hourly employees are to be paid overtime at the rate of one-and-a-half times their hourly rate. Still other workers have filed lawsuits claiming that they haven't been paid for work they did for their employer.

Every employee in Florida has the right to be paid for work they have done. When an employee notices that his or her paycheck is not what it should be, that employee should go to his or her employer to have it fixed. If an employer refuses to fix the problem, affected employees have the right to file wage claims. Employees shouldn't be afraid of insisting on being paid what they are owed when their employer doesn't follow the wage-and-hour law.

Source: Norwalk Reflector, "Workers suing employers at record high," May 20, 2013

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