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Florida wage claims could be possible in citrus harvesting

Being properly compensated for hours worked at a place of employment should not have to be a worry of employees. Unfortunately, there are many cases in which workers have filed wage claims due to not having been paid the proper amount for the services they have rendered. There may be many variables that contribute to employees being underpaid, but it is up to employers to ensure that workers receive payment to which they are entitled.

Investigations in Florida have uncovered several wage violations being committed by companies that work in citrus harvesting. Some of these violations are due to employers not properly keeping up with the number of hours that workers should be compensated for. Some employers may believe that certain time periods do not count as compensable hours due to work not being completed, such as when weather does not allow for certain tasks to be carried out.

If employees are told to be on site at a certain time but are unable to complete tasks due to extenuating circumstances, they should still be compensated for those hours. If employers fail to properly keep track of hours, companies could end up paying their workers under minimum wage and face serious penalties for wage violations. The situation can become even more confusing when employers deal with seasonal workers, but it is still important that those workers are compensated for the proper hours worked.

Because wage violations are a reality, if employees feel that they have not been properly compensated, they may need file wage claims and take action. Addressing the situation can lead to improvement in a work environment not only for the affected employees but potentially for future employees as well. If the situation is not remedied in a timely or effective manner, employees may wish to explore their legal options. Information on Florida employment laws could prove to be a reliable resource for concerned individuals.

Source: The Grower, Recording hours worked continues to trip up employers, Fritz Roka, Dec. 11, 2013

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