No matter what the industry, workers are entitled to certain rights and employers have certain standards that they must adhere to. When employers violate standards and employee rights, serious consequences can result. Not paying employees or creating hostile work environments are two common violations that are unfortunately found throughout many places of employment at all different wage levels.
An organization in Florida known as We Count! is working with employees who are not receiving their wages and are faced with other unfair treatment in the workplace. One man gives his account of how he worked for two years in a nursery when suddenly he stopped receiving his paychecks. At first he did not mention the issue because he was afraid the owner was in financial trouble, but once the amount of wages he did not receive reached $5,000, he confronted his employer.
Instead of an explanation, the employee was met with threats and told to stop asking questions. His employer reportedly told him that the police would be called on the employee, and his employer also apparently tried to engage the worker in a physical fight. After the incident, the employee left his job and contacted the We Count! organization. The organization is currently working with the man, and representatives state that there are numerous cases similar to this one that go unreported due to employees fearing backlash.
It is unfortunate circumstances when an employee is not paid for their hard work, but it is even more unfortunate when those workers feel there is nothing they can do to better the situation due to intimidation from employers. As this organization shows, there are ways to seek help and fight for a person's rights. Information on Florida employment laws, employee rights and labor standards could greatly benefit workers who feel that they are being treated unfairly.
Source: NBC Latino, In Florida, one organization fights for farm workers' salaries - and rights, Carmen Sesin, Aug. 22, 2013