by thomas baker
When someone breaks into your home and steals your property, there is a well known number to call to report the crime, and there is a legal system to come to your defense. When hard at work and owed money by your employer, what is the number to call when the check does not arrive?
Lauren Walls had very few resources at hand after the restaurant she worked for five years ago stole her tips.
“The cooks got tipped out, the bussers got tipped out, and then there was a mystery tip out that did not add up,” Walls said.
The more she asked about where the tips went to, she said, “the more I was taken off the schedule.” Walls did not receive her last pay check after she quit, though owed a few hundred dollars; between school and looking for her next job, she did not feel like it was worth hiring a lawyer over.
Unpaid overtime, paid under minimum wage, misclassification as an independent contractor, forced to work off the clock or during meal breaks, altered employee time cards, deducting money from paychecks, getting paid late, or not getting paid at all – in the state of Florida, there are few options to recover wages legally owed to employees.