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Orlando Unpaid Overtime Attorneys Whittel & Melton :: Disney Reportedly Owed More Than $400k in Back Wages to Florida Employees

February 3, 2012

A report recently released by a research group from Florida International University shows that Florida employees are falling victim to wage theft, and Disney is one of the worst offenders.

Labor officials claim that Disney owed employees more than $430,000 in back pay between 2008 and 2010 because employees apparently failed to receive pay for time when they worked from home.

It is estimated that Florida employees are losing out on millions in wages due to employers not paying what the federal law requires.

According to the Center for Labor Research and Studies, in Orange County alone, employers underpaid 2,400 employees more than $1 million between 2008 and 2011.

The largest offender found was Engineering Support Personnel who owed $477,000 to employees in back wages. Next on the list: the Walt Disney Co., owing nearly $434,000 in back wages. The third offender, Kelly’s Professional Security Services owed $142,000 in back wages.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Walt Disney Co. failed to pay 70 inventory control clerks for work before and after their shifts, working through meals and when working from home.

A spokesperson for the Farm Workers Association said that around 400 complaints a month are received to investigate unpaid wage claims, and even more go unreported because people are afraid nothing can be done.

Currently, the law does not protect employees of businesses with less than $500,000 in revenue.

The Walt Disney Co. released a statement saying they immediately corrected the situation from under-reported time in 2010 and the employees received their back wages. Additionally, the company claims training programs have since been implemented to keep the situation from recurring.

Unfortunately, thousands of Florida workers are denied overtime pay, paid less than minimum wage and deprived of tips, commission or other entitled compensation. These are violations of federal and state labor laws, and whether these violations were mistakes or intentional they must be investigated. If you have been misinformed, misclassified or tricked out of the pay you deserve, the Florida Unpaid Overtime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can verify whether you are owed additional payments and take action to retrieve compensation at trial or through a discussed settlement.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees are eligible for overtime wages for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week or 10 hours in a single day. Some employers try and cheat employees out of the overtime requirement by implementing the following methods:

  • Misclassifying employees as exempt, thus making them ineligible for overtime pay
  • Paying non-exempt employees a salaried compensation instead of hourly wages
  • Requesting employees work off the clock

Filing an unpaid overtime claim may be easier to resolve than you think. In fact, many employers fail to keep properly documented wage and hour records for employees, which can make it very difficult for an employer to dispute what hours an employee actually worked. When an employer fails to pay appropriate wages and overtime pay, the employee may be entitled to damages equal to the unpaid overtime or back wages. The details of overtime law can be complex, so it is best to enlist the help of a Florida Unpaid Overtime Attorney to determine how you should proceed with collecting unpaid overtime or back wages.

If you feel you are owed unpaid overtime or back wages from a Florida employer, contact the Florida Unpaid Overtime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton, LLC online or dial us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).