Employees working in Miami-Dade County who did not get paid their proper wages can use a process outside of the Courts to recover their wages (i.e., combat wage theft). Some in the Florida Legislature tried to ban Cities and/or Counties from enacting wage theft ordinances but, thankfully, this effort failed.
The idea behind Miami-Dade County’s Wage Theft Ordinance is to give employees a quick means of recovering their unpaid wages. To begin the process, you first need to complete this form to provide the basic information about the wages you are owed.
Benefits of the Wage Theft Ordinance include:
- There are no costs for filing the claim or for serving the claim (This alone can save upwards of $450);
- The time to respond is quicker than in a lawsuit (15 days vs. 20-25 days);
- The Miami-Dade County Wage Theft Ordinance allows victorious employees to recover three times their unpaid wages (which makes this remedy enticing for larger wage theft claims).
Drawbacks of the Wage Theft Ordinance include:
- Other types of claims entitle an employee to recover his or her attorneys’ fees and costs and up to twice the back pay owed, making it enticing for attorneys to pursue relatively small wage theft claims in lawsuits;
- The law is unsettled about whether a hearing officer can hold a company officer, manager, or supervisor personally liable for violating the Wage Theft Ordinance (other types of claims can involve holding these people personally liable and this factor often helps push other types of claims to settlement); and
- You still may have to go to Court and file a lawsuit to enforce a Wage Theft decision made by a hearing officer.
To discuss whether it makes sense to proceed with a claim under the Miami-Dade Wage Theft Ordinance, under Florida law, or under the Fair Labor Standards Act, you can contact Brian H. Pollock at the FairLaw Firm for a free consultation at 305.230.4884. Your inquiry will remain confidential, and most unpaid/underpaid wage claims are handled on contingency.