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My former employer owes me 15 hours and refused to pay. I lost all evidence, can I still sue?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

I was a server at my previous job but I was also a hostess with only one hostessing shift a week. One weekend, they allowed 4 hostesses to leave for vacation at the same time so I had to step in to replace those hostesses. I worked a wednesday night from 4 until 10:30 PM. A friday night from 5 until 11:00 PM. A saturday double which is typically 14-16 hours. And sunday night from 5 until 11:00 PM. I originally only got paid for 10 hours, then they asked me how many hours they owed me and I said 20, and I only got paid for 6 more. So they owe me about 14-15 hours. They refuse to pay cause they say that half of my serving check is half hostessing which makes no sense because the check is only a $100. My car got recently broken into and my check stubs were stolen. Can I still sue?

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Attorney answers 4


Yes you can still sue. It's your employer's responsibility to keep track of your hours. If they didn't keep detailed records, it will be your word against theirs. You should contact a lawyer for help.

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You can definitely still bring a lawsuit. Simply because you do not have the pay stubs any longer should not be a problem as there are other ways to get evidence, such as pulling your deposits and pulling the employer's records, which the employer MUST keep under the Department of Labor Regulations. Additionally, restaurants may pay you a sub-minimum wage. An employer may pay a tipped employee not less than $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equal at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. However, IF you were actually hostessing, you MUST have been paid at at least the regular minimum wage. I would strongly recommend consulting an employment law attorney.

Feel free to contact me directly for further information at 239-985-9691 or to speak confidentially- the information provided herein is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice, nor does this communication in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.


You can sue, but given the amounts at issue I would recommend you have counsel contact them first. Filing suit costs money, more that what is at issue. Counsel should be able to get this money in very quickly for you as the claims you do have come with attorney fee provisions which makes the employer responsible for your fees. My office has handled many of these claims.


The short answer is "yes." If you worked non-server hours then you are entitled to be paid for all of the hours worked at regular wages. The practical answer is that while you have a claim and can "sue" for it you would only be entitled to receive pay for the hours not yet paid--which does not appear to be a large sum of money. Lawsuits (and lawyers) are may throw good money after bad just trying to recover 14-15 hours of wages. I would advise you to contact your local Department of Labor Wage and Hour Board office and get them to help you. They can investigate and audit your employer and get your pay for you without the costs of a suit/lawyer.

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