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Broward County Implements Wage Payment Law

In January 2013, Broward County implemented an ordinance that makes it easier for employees to take legal action against their employers for non-payment of earned wages. Under Broward County Ordinance 2012-32, if an employee has performed work in Broward County and his/her employer has failed to pay or has underpaid the wage rate applicable for the work performed within a reasonable amount of time from the date on which the employee performed the work, the employee may file a complaint with the Broward County Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Professional Standards (“OIAPS”) to recover those lost wages. Section 20½-2(f) defines a “reasonable time” as no later than 14 calendar days from the date that the work is performed, unless the employer has established a pay schedule whereby employees earn and are consistently paid according to regular pay periods, in which case that pay schedule controls. A complaint will be heard by a hearing officer if:

  • the complaint alleges non-payment of at least $60.00;
  • the employee notifies the employer in writing within 60 days of the non-payment of the earned wages, including an identification of all wages the employee claims he or she is entitled to, the actual or estimated work dates/hours of the work, and the total amount of unpaid wages through the date of the notice;
  • the employee files a true copy of this notice with the complaint; and
  • the complaint alleges that the employer failed to pay the unearned wages specified in the notice within 15 days or receiving the written notice or before filing the complaint, whichever is greater.

After receiving a complaint, Broward County OIAPS notifies the employer that they have thirty days to conciliate the complaint. If conciliation efforts are unsuccessful, the complaint is heard by a County Hearing Officer. At the hearing, parties may submit evidence, request subpoenas, testify and cross-examine witnesses. If the Hearing Officer concludes that a violation has occurred, the employer must pay back wages and liquidated damages to the employee. If the employer demonstrates that they acted in good faith, the liquidated damages penalty may be lessened or waived.

The Broward County Commission originally passed the law in October 2012 in an 8-1 vote.

Chaired by Brett J. Schneider, WSH’s Labor and Employment Law Group has years of experience advising clients regarding compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and regularly defends clients in single plaintiff and class action litigation arising from alleged FLSA violations. The Group also handles arbitrations and civil service board and other administrative hearings for public sector clients. In addition, our Litigation Division routinely handles matters in the labor, employment and civil rights area.

You can read a copy of the Ordinance 2012-32 here.

Categories: Labor and EmploymentAdministrative Law
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Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara