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Florida legislature considers bill to regulate wage claims

There are few certainties in life. One certainty should be that an employee will be paid the previously agreed upon rate for the work they have completed. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, and sometimes employees have to fight to make sure that they have received fair payment for services rendered. In an effort to streamline the process of wage claims, a Florida legislator has proposed a law that will change the current procedure.

The proposed law would require that all employees who are attempting to secure their fair payment must do so through the court system, instead of through a department that handles labor-related issues like in other states. It would also limit the amount of money an employee can obtain. Additionally, claims could only be made within a year from the date the work was completed.

There are many opponents to the bill. Some argue that most people who have a dispute regarding their wages are low income and cannot afford a lawyer to navigate to sometimes tricky court system. Others argue that the law will actually encourage employers to steal wages from their employees as the law would only require employers to pay back wages if the employee can prove the wage theft occurred.

While there are others who support the bill in Florida, it is clear that the issue of wage claims is important. Everyone wants to receive payment for their share of work, and, regardless of the situation, an employee who feels unfairly compensated should consider taking action to ensure they are being adequately paid. People's lives hinge on the promise of being paid for the work they have completed.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Fla. lawmakers consider wage theft bill," Christine Armario, March 24, 2013

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