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What if an employer pays less than the minimum wage?

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | Wage & Hour Laws |

Employers must pay employees a certain wage as a minimum. The current minimum wage in Florida is $12.00 per hour. This is the minimum wage for most employees in the state, exempting some student workers, tipped employees and other exempt occupations. The minimum wage for tipped employees is $8.98 per hour. The minimum wage in Florida will rise every year on September 30 until it reaches $15.00 per hour.

Here is what an employee can do if their employer is paying them below the required amount

Notify the employer

If an employee is being paid less than the minimum wage, they should notify their employer and give them 15 days to resolve the claim for unpaid wages. It is wise for both parties to document any correspondence they have.

File a wage and hour complaint

If an employer fails to resolve the issue within 15 days, an employee can bring a civil action in a court of law against them. If the employer is found liable for intentionally violating the employee’s rights, they will be required to pay a fine of $1,000, back wages plus damages and attorney’s fees.

Can an employer retaliate against an employee?

Employees have the right to file a complaint if they believe their employer is not complying with the minimum wage requirement. They can also inform another person about the alleged noncompliance and their potential rights. If an employer retaliates against an employee for exercising these rights, by firing them, excluding them, refusing to promote them or other such actions, the employee may have grounds for legal action. Retaliation is forbidden.

Legal help can help both parties understand their rights and obligations in a wage dispute.