Overtime Claims Retaliation
Is it possible for me, as an employee, to get fired for filing a wage claim against my employer for overtime violations?
The Fair Labor Standards Act has an anti-discrimination provision that actually protects employees from employer retaliation for wage and hour disputes. The FLSA protects employees from anyone that retaliates or discriminates against them for filing a claim for a violation under the FLSA, testifying regarding a violation in a court proceeding and serving on an industry committee. Likewise, most Federal Courts offer protection to employees who file informal complaints involving wage and hour issues.
When an employer reacts in a hostile manner against an employee who asserts their rights under the FLSA, they could be held liable for damages and attorney’s fees. The following actions constitute unlawful retaliation:
- Terminating an employee
- Reducing an employee’s salary
- Demoting an employee to a position with a lower salary or reduced hourly pay
- Reducing job responsibilities
- Keeping an employee from advancing with the company or blacklisting them from future employment
In order to be successful with an anti-discrimination or retaliation complaint, one must prove that the employee was engaging or attempting to engage in protected activity under the FLSA and that any alleged retaliation or discrimination was the direct result of that activity. An employee is entitled to certain remedies and damages when they have been retaliated or discriminated against through a violation of the FLSA including reinstatement, possible promotion, back pay, lost wages and liquidated damages. Some courts may award punitive damages for mental anguish and emotional distress if the employer’s behavior was malicious and done with the intent to harm the employee.
Some employers will try and cheat the FLSA overtime wage laws by misclassifying their employees as “exempt” or “salaried” employees and wrongfully instructing them that they are not entitled to overtime wages. If you have made a written or oral request from your employer regarding being classified as an “exempt” employee or to question overtime wages and your employer has demoted, terminated or reduced your pay grade, the Florida Overtime Claims Retaliation Attorneys at Whittel & Melton, LLC can provide you with the legal help you need. We can best direct you towards the proper steps to take in order to fight for your employment rights and receive the compensation you are entitled to under the law.
An employee generally only has two years to file a claim to recover overtime wages. If you feel your rights have been violated by an employer, do not rely on their word that you are exempt from collecting overtime wages. Contact Whittel & Melton and let us investigate your compensation in order to determine if you are being cheated out of proper wages.
It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against your for claiming or attempting to collect unpaid wages. Florida’s Whistleblower Act protects employees that voice an objection to employers regarding unpaid overtime and are unlawfully retaliated against. If you believe you were subjected to adverse employment action, such conduct is a violation of Florida’s Whistleblower Act and you are entitled to recovering wages, compensatory damages and possibly punitive damages.
If you have any questions about your rights under the FLSA or the Whistleblower Act, contact Whittel & Melton online or reach us in The Villages at 352-369-5334 to learn more about your rights and protections. Don’t let your employer intimidate you out of collecting what is rightfully yours. We are available anytime, day or night, to assist you so contact us now.