Workers' Compensations FAQ's

How long after an accident do I have to report it to my employer?

You should report it as soon as possible, but no later than thirty (30) days after the accident or your claim may be denied.

If I pursue a Workers' Compensation claim, does that mean I am suing my employer?

No. Workers' Compensation is not a lawsuit against your employer. It is a claim against the insurance policy that most employers in Florida have to purchase. Your employer has Workers' Compensation insurance to help their injured workers, and you are entitled to benefits if you are injured.

Can I choose my own doctor if I have an accident at work?

Although there are some exceptions, you do not have the right to choose your own doctor in a Workers' Compensation claim. In most instances, the insurance carrier will select the doctor. You do, however, have the right to request a one-time change of doctor. This gives the insurance carrier five (5) days to select a new doctor for you; if they do not do so within five (5) days, then you have the right to seek treatment with a doctor of your choice. However, you can only do this once during your case, so you need to be very careful of your choice.

Can my employer fire me because of the Workers' Compensation claim?

No. An employer will face civil liability if they fire someone solely for filing a Workers' Compensation claim. If your employer fires you because you have a Workers' Compensation claim, you can sue them for wrongful termination.

Do I have to hire an attorney to protect my rights under Workers' Compensation?

No. You never have to hire an attorney. However, the Workers' Compensation law can be confusing and has many traps for workers. If you want to protect your rights under the Workers' Compensation law, you need to find a qualified Workers' Compensation attorney to handle your case and help you through the maze of the Workers' Compensation law.

Wage & Hour/Overtime FAQ's

When am I entitled to overtime?

Overtime pay of time and a half is due once an employee has worked forty (40) hours in a work week.

What is the law that governs overtime pay?

The federal law governing the payment of wages is called the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA").

If I file an FSLA and prevail, what can I expect to recover?

If an employee prevails on his/her FLSA claim, he/she will typically be entitled to recover back pay for all unpaid overtime, usually beginning two (2) years before the complaint is filed. In some cases, employees are entitled to recover double the amount of unpaid wages, or "liquidated damages." The FLSA requires that the employer, not the employee, reimburse out-of-pocket litigation costs and pay the prevailing employees' attorneys' fees.

What if my Employer averages two work weeks to determine my entitlement to overtime pay? Can they do that?

No.Since overtime is calculated on a week-to-week basis, as stated above, an employer may not average two (2) weeks, even if it represents one pay period. For example, if an employee works 50 hours one week and 30 hours the next, the employer must pay ten (10) hours of overtime for the first week and may not simply pay 80 hours at "straight time" for the pay period.

What if I don't have documentation of my overtime?

The burden is typically on the employer to keep accurate records of time worked by its employees. Where an employer fails to keep accurate time records, Courts typically allow an employee to recover unpaid wages based on a reasonable and realistic estimation of hours worked.

If I quit or get fired from my job, and I don't receive my final paycheck, can I recover this unpaid compensation?

Yes. This is a very common violation of minimum wage law. If you have worked, but have not been paid for your work, your former employer has failed to pay you at least minimum wage, as required by law.