Unpaid Wages in Florida FAQs

What can I do If my Florida employer didn’t pay me?

You may have a variety of options available under Florida law, local ordinances, and federal law to recover unpaid wages. Since wage and hour laws are not consistently enforced at the state level, many city and county governments have enacted provisions to help workers recover unpaid wages. For instance, if you work for an employer in Pinellas County, you have the option of filing a complaint with the County Office of Human Rights. If your employer is in Alachua County or Miami-Dade County or certain other jurisdictions, you have other possibilities for relief. When you consult an attorney who helps workers recover unpaid wages, your legal advisor can help you pursue the best option available in your particular jurisdiction.

I never received wages for my leave. What can I do?

It is important to gather as much documentation as possible to support your claim. Round up copies of pay stubs from the relevant time period, and if you can’t find them, request copies from your employer. If you are working under any type of written contract, get a copy of the terms. Ideally you want evidence showing that you acquired leave and never received pay for that leave. If your employer has a policy guide specifying that you are entitled to two weeks leave each year or that you earn a certain amount each pay period, get a copy of it. Your attorney can help you locate other types of evidence to support your claim. Then you will need to decide whether to proceed through local government, state government, or federal government channels, and your attorney can assist with that as well. It is important to avoid delay because deadlines apply, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to gather the evidence you need.

Can I still get my wages after I was fired?

When you legitimately earn wages, you do not lose the right to receive those wages. In fact, not only is your employer required to pay you, they are required to provide your pay on the next regularly scheduled pay date. Even if your employer insists that you need to return company property or fulfill some other obligation, they are not entitled to withhold your pay. However, if you are paid through direct deposit, they can cancel that service and require you to come to the office to pick up a check.

How do I get the unpaid wages?

There may be a couple of different approaches you can take to recover unpaid wages depending on the circumstances. Your options could include:

  • Filing a lawsuit in circuit court or county court. The employer may be required to pay the cost of attorney’s fees.
  • File a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor regarding a violation of overtime or other federal wage and hour laws
  • File a lawsuit for civil theft under Florida law. This option can provide up to three times the amount owed, along with attorney’s fees and court costs.
  • File a complaint under a county or city ordinance.

The best choice for your situation will depend on a variety of factors. For instance, workers who are classified as independent contractors may be allowed to pursue some remedies but not others. Your lawyer can help you choose the right option and fight to get the wages you deserve.