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I have not been paid my last paycheck. How can I get it? I was working hourly as construction on homes.

FloridaRecovery Options

I have been working for this individual who is a sub-contractor for one of the area's largest home builders. He hired me at $15.00 per hour; but only pays me at $12.00 per hour saying that he made a mistake and cannot pay me $15.00 per hour. Then, he only works me 6 or 7 hours per day and not all week long. But wants me to work Saturday and Sundays to keep on schedule. Well, the week before Christmas, I worked about 36 hours, by working up to 3am one night. I was to be paid the Friday after Christms, but payday has not come. I keep calling him, but he does not answer. He does not return calls, and he is not calling me for work. I will not work for him now anyway. I had problems cashing two of his checks. But, I need that last paycheck. How do I get paid?

1 reply

Jan 4, 2019
I'm very sorry to hear about that - everyone deserves to be paid what they've earned, and I can't imagine how frustrating that must be, especially around the holidays. There may be a number of potential routes to payment. When construction work has been performed but unpaid, the strongest tool available will typically be a mechanics lien. While that can be a great option (and you can learn about it here), that's typically the nuclear option. For more information on Florida mechanics liens, these resources should be helpful: Florida Lien & Notice FAQs and How to File a Florida Lien. Other, less aggressive means of recovery are often utilized before a mechanics lien filing becomes necessary. For one, the mere threat of a lien will often get the job done. By sending a Notice of Intent to Lien, a laborer can show the nonpaying party, the general contractor, and the property owners that a debt is owed and that, if unpaid, a lien will be filed. This may escalate the issue - but potentially in a necessary way. When a GC and owner find out that one of their subs hasn't been making payments, often, a Notice of Intent will result in the GC and owner putting pressure on the sub to clear up the dispute and make payment - all without the need for filing a lien. You can learn more about that document here: What is a Notice of Intent to Lien? Of course, using a lien or threatening a lien are only two potential options. Another option may be to threaten a lawsuit or small claims suit. Threatening legal action - especially when done through a lawyer - might convince a subcontractor to make payment. Alternatively, if the debt is less than $5,000, actually filing suit in small claims court can result in payment - and small claims court is much cheaper and more efficient than traditional litigation. For disputes over $5,000, traditional litigation could work as well - but lawsuits can be risky and expensive.
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