How can I get my final pay?

Questions:

1. What do I need to do to, if necessary, enforce payment of the amount due me, which is in excess of $22,000.

2. If it is necessary to retain an attorney, would I be able to collect attorney fees?

Facts:

After retiring, I have trying to get my final pay for three months. There is no dispute as to the amount that I am owed. It appears that the only reason I have not been paid is because the controller will not forward the necessary paperwork to the payroll department so they can process my pay. I am inclined to believe that this is malicious intent. This is not a matter of the organization not having the money.

3 answers  |  asked Mar 15, 2001 8:29 PM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (3)

William J. Carnes
The law in a suit for unpaid wages.

You may have to file suit for wages owed. Florida Statute 448.08 allows for attorney fees and costs to a prevailing party in a suit for wages. There is a two year statute of limitation on suits for wages owed. If you would like an appointment to speak with me regarding your problem, you should call 813-254-4757.

The above is not a legal opinion and cannot be relied upon as such. There is no attorney-client relationship by answering the posed hypothetical question, which does not provide sufficient facts to render an opinion. Should you wish to get a legal opinion upon which you can rely, the only way is to hire an attorney in your local area who can get all of the facts, research the law and explain your options to you.

posted by William J. Carnes  |  Feb 21, 2001 11:56 AM [EST]
William R. Amlong
Here are the laws on collecting final pay.

Assuming that you are entitled to your back pay and that you file suit to collect it, you would be eligible to move for an award of attorney's fees pursuant to s. 448.08, Fla. Stat. If the other side were to win, however, it would be entitled to collect attorney's fees against you.

Because this matter would be in state court, you also would have to face the prospect of them making an offer of settlement or offer of judgment that would shift fees away from you and to them if you did not recover more than 25 per cent more than the company offered. While I think that such an application of the offer of judgment rule would be unconstitutional (a deprivation of your property without due process), I do not know that you wish to get into constitutional litigation over $22,000.

I would suggest that you retain a lawyer on an hourly basis to write the president of the company a letter saying that if the money is not in your hands in seven days, he will file suit -- and then be prepared to do so.

Wishing you the best, I am,

William R. Amlong
Amlong & Amlong, P.A.
500 Northeast Fourth Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-11154
(954)462-1983

posted by William R. Amlong  |  Feb 21, 2001 11:54 AM [EST]
Todd W. Shulby
You can recover your final pay and attorneys' fees

Assuming that your employer does not respond to your demands, Florida law does provide a remedy and you can file an action to recover your unpaid wages. Florida law also provides for the recovery of attorney's fees and costs incurred by the successful party in such an action. I would suggest that you contact a lawyer in your area to handle this matter for you, and until you do, document the efforts that you are making to collect your wages and establish with your employer, in writing, the amount that you are owed.

posted by Todd W. Shulby  |  Feb 21, 2001 11:38 AM [EST]

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