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Across the country, the rules on final paychecks regulate how an employer pays an employee’s final wages. They cover when a final paycheck should be paid and what deductions an employer could legally be allowed to make from it.
Whether an employer is based in Miami, Tampa or Jacksonville, Florida’s state law explains the responsibilities that employers have and the legal process an employee can pursue if they don’t receive their final paycheck. Understanding these laws is important to make sure employee rights are respected.
Florida state law does not include specific rules on when a final paycheck should be paid. The US Department of Labor’s advice on final paychecks is that an employee should expect to receive unpaid wages at the time of their regularly-scheduled payday for the last pay period they worked.
It is possible that an employer will have set its own timeframe for paying final paychecks in the employment contract. This could be enforced, as long as it does not exceed the state’s laws on the maximum time allowed between paychecks.
When an employee quits or is fired, they will often want to know whether an employer should pay for unused vacation days as part of the final paycheck. Florida law does not require employers to offer any paid vacation days, although many still do. Where there is an existing agreement in an employee’s employment contract to provide vacation, an employee may be able to successfully argue that unused days are included as part of the final paycheck.
Employees should receive wages for the work they perform, and this should generally be at the rate agreed in the employment contract. However, an employer could withhold part of the final paycheck where the employee has expressly consented to a reduction, or for the payment of, for example, taxes or a court-ordered payment.
If an employer fails to pay the final paycheck on the next regularly scheduled payday, the US Department of Labor advises that an employee in Florida should contact the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, or Florida’s labor department. A complaint can be registered and a case might be filed on behalf of the employee to recover the unpaid wages.
The law in Florida says that an employee who is successful in an action for unpaid wages should receive costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
An employee who experiences difficulties in receiving their final paycheck on time could consult with a Florida wage and hour attorney, who can provide detailed advice based on the facts of their situation.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified wage and hour lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local wage and hour attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.