It is the Department of Labor (DOL)’s duty to improve employee’s working conditions, advance their opportunities for profitable employment, protect their retirement and health care, strengthen free collective bargaining, and track changes in employment. This is true for all states, including the Florida Department of Labor. In doing so, the DOL oversees a variety of Federal labor laws including the right to safe working conditions, minimum hourly wages, overtime pay, freedom from discrimination, insurance for unemployment, and other income support. If an individual feels that any of these rights have been violated in the state of Florida, they may file a complaint with the Florida Department of Labor.
When it comes to fair treatment at your workplace, anything from harassment to wage issues can become a complaint. At this time, it becomes a question of whether you want to file a Florida state lawsuit or a federal complaint. For a state lawsuit, the employee must first notify their employer of their claim. The employee has 15 days to respond to the claim and potentially resolve it. After 15 days, if the employee has not resolved the situation, only then can it be filed with the Florida state court. The employee may want to hire an attorney at this time.
A federal complaint may also be filed. Your type of case determines the method of filing, but you may begin the process by visiting one of Florida’s seven DOL offices. You will be required to include specific information about yourself and your employer. Additional documents such as pay stubs may also help your case.
When you file a complaint with the Wage Hour Division (WHD) of the DOL, all services are free and your employer cannot terminate or discriminate against you for filing a complaint. In order to successfully file a complaint, you need detailed information about you and your employer.
Once you have provided all of the required information, your file is complete. Other official records such as pay stubs, personnel records, or other employee information could also be helpful for your case.
When you file a complaint with the Florida Department of Labor, it is a simple five step process.
The best first step in filing a complaint is to not file one at all. If the issue can be resolved internally, it is best to do so. Approach your employer professionally, not emotionally to see if they may resolve your complaint.
The Wages and Hours Division of the DOL the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and other federal laws. If your complaint is outside of these laws, the DOL may not be able to help you. Typically you. Must exhaust all of your state resources, before you can move to the federal level.
The information you provide is critical to your complaint; without it, you potentially have no complaint to file. Bring the necessary documents and have all of the necessary information.
All complaints are confidential and must be filed within two years of the event. You may begin your complaint by calling 1-866-4USWAGE or visiting the division’s website to find the nearest office towards you.
At the time you file your complaint, it is left in the hands of the DOL. If wages are to be paid, they will manage payment of that money and possibly enforce penalties on your employer.
The Florida Department of Labor is available for free services to foster and promote the best working conditions for employees like you.
If you’re in the Tampa area and have questions regarding a employment case in Florida contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
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