Statutes of Limitations For Filing a Wage Violations Claim Under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Florida Minimum Wage Act
In today’s turbulent economy, many people are scared to confront their employers who may be violating federal or state employment laws designed to protect the rights of employees. However, if an employee waits too long prior to filing a claim for violation of these laws, they may find that their time limit to file the claim has expired. In the event that the time limit has expired, they may lose the opportunity to pursue an otherwise valid claim against their employer.
What Are the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Florida Minimum Wage Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal statute that governs private employment standards in many facets of employment law, including the federal minimum wage, record keeping, overtime pay, and standards for youth employment. For example, employees covered by the FLSA are to receive a minimum wage of no less than $7.25 per hour and all covered non-exempt employees have a right to receive overtime pay if they work over 40 hours per workweek.
The Florida Minimum Wage Act is a Florida-specific statute that offers specific additional protections to many of the same workers covered by the FLSA. As of 2016, the Florida minimum wage under the Act is set at $8.05 per hour, effective January 1. This minimum wage is subject to an annual adjustment by the Department of Economic Opportunity based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
What Are the Statutes of Limitations Under the Two Acts?
If you believe you may have a claim under either the FLSA or the Florida Minimum Wage Act, it is important that you pursue this claim prior to the lapse of the statute(s) of limitations associated with that claim. Specifically, for the FLSA, you must file your claim within two years of the date of your employer’s alleged wage violation. Also, if the violation is continuous, you will only be able to recover lost wages for the two years prior to filing your claim. This means that if your employer has been violating the federal minimum wage since January 1, 2013 and you do not file your claim until January 1, 2016, you will only be able to recover for lost wages from January 1, 2014 through January 1, 2016. One exception to the two-year time limit is if the court finds your employer’s violation of the FLSA is “willful.” A court will determine an employer’s violation is willful if it finds the employer knew its conduct was prohibited by the FLSA or showed reckless disregard to if its conduct was prohibited by the FLSA. In these cases, the statute of limitations is extended to three years.
Under the Florida Minimum Wage Act, the statute of limitations is four years if the employer’s violation was not willful. Like the statute of limitations for the FLSA, the time limit is extended an additional year (to five years) if the court finds an employer’s violation was willful.
Contact our Experienced Clearwater, Florida Employment Law Attorneys Today
If you believe your employer may be violating the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or Florida Minimum Wage Act, you should contact the experienced Clearwater employment law attorney, Amie K. Dilla at Dilla Employment Law, P.A. today. She can help you evaluate the merits of your claim and help you explore the best strategy for crafting an effective argument.