I see employees get cheated out of a few dollars every week, while others lose out on thousands of dollars. Not getting the wages you earned usually happens for one of the following reasons:
- You don’t get paid overtime wages;
- You don’t get paid a minimum wage;
- You get a lunch or other break automatically deducted, but you work during the “break”;
- You were paid a salary; or
- You were called and paid as an “independent contractor” but you really weren’t.
First, you or someone you know thinks that you got underpaid (I call this wage theft).
Then, you start talking to people or looking on the internet to find out more if you are right – you got underpaid.
The next step is trying to figure out if it’s worth it hire a lawyer to sue your employer (or former employer) for unpaid wages, unpaid overtime wages, for underpaid minimum wages, or unpaid wages (you didn’t get paid at all – like your last paycheck). I can answer your next set of questions:
- Is it worth it to talk to a lawyer? Yes. For victims of wage theft, the FairLaw Firm offers free a free consultation. This means that you get to talk to a lawyer and you don’t have to pay for it. You can discuss what happened by calling or by sending in your information by email or by submitting confidential information through the FairLaw Firm’s website.
- What if I got underpaid by only a few dollars? Yes. It is still worth it to talk to a lawyer even if you were shorted only a few dollars. The first reason is that if you think you got cheated out of a few dollars, the chances are pretty good that you actually were underpaid by more than you think. The second reason is that for unpaid/underpaid overtime wages or unpaid/underpaid minimum wages, employees can get paid twice what they are owed – and those who live in Miami-Dade County can get up to three times what they are owed. Plus, most times, the law requires your employer to pay your attorneys’ fees and costs. This means that if you sue your employer for wage theft, you can get more than what you were owed, plus have your employer pay your lawyer.
- Can I get fired if I bring a claim? Technically, no. Florida and federal law protect those so sue for wage theft. But, even though I can’t promise you that you won’t get fired if you bring a wage theft claim, the FairLaw Firm has brought numerous lawsuits for workers while they were working – and they weren’t fired or retaliated against. I realize the real-life consequences of being retaliated against and know how to minimize the chances that you will get retaliated against if you make a claim. Even though you will later get paid if you are retaliated against, I’d rather avoid either of us having to deal with that.
The law recognizes that employers have a lot of power. They can hire and fire you, and you depend on them to pay you – on time and the right amount. Because your employer has the power, and workers in Florida don’t, the law protects you – and the FairLaw Firm knows how to use the law to help you get what you earned.
If you earned it but weren’t paid properly, it’s worth it.