As a gainfully employed individual, you expect just compensation for the work you do for your employer. If you do not receive what you have earned, it can be frustrating and stressful for you and your family.
There are many names for this situation, including unpaid wages, withheld salary or wage theft. According to Chron.com, there are also many different ways that your employer could shortchange you. Some may be deliberate acts while others may be honest mistakes, but all are violations of your rights.
You may be an employee for all intents and purposes, but your employer may miscategorize you as an independent contractor. This may justify lower wages in your employer’s eyes. Employers also miscategorize employees to avoid paying payroll taxes or providing benefits that you would receive as an employee.
2. Unmet minimum wage requirements
In the United States, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. According to Florida State University, the state minimum wage is currently $10 per hour. In states where the minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum, the greater amount applies. Therefore, if you are an hourly worker in Florida, it is illegal for you to receive less than $10 unless you are a worker who receives tips, in which case the minimum wage is lower.
3. Refusal to pay overtime wages
The minimum wage is the pay that you receive for every hour that you work up to 40 hours per week. If you work more than 40 hours, you should earn overtime pay above the minimum wage for the extra hours.
If you believe your employer has shortchanged you, the first thing to do is to discuss the issue with him or her. It could be an honest error. If this fails to resolve the problem, the next step is to file a complaint against your employer.