Wage Theft Ordinance

Legislative History and Text from Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County Wage Theft Ordinance


Below overview prepared by Jeanette Smith

SFIWJ, jeanettesmith@sfiwj.org, 305-598-1404

Points of note

  • Threshold amount is $60
  • Wage is any agreed wage but must meet highest rate established by any legislation (i.e. minimum wage)
  • Statute of limitations is one year from when the unpaid work was performed
  • Reasonable time to have received payment for work done is no later than fourteen calendar days from the date on which the work is performed
    • May be modified for a period not to exceed thirty days by a written agreement between the employer and the employee
    • It’s unclear exactly how this will affect the time for filing a complaint for a day laborer as opposed to a formal employee – the Implementing Order is still being drafted
  • Complaints
    • Written complaint can be filed with the County by employee or an organization to which the employee belongs (i.e. membership-based workers center); there is no filing fee
    • County will attempt conciliation between employee and employer, resulting in a written agreement between the parties that is actionable if breached
    • If conciliation is not possible, matter will be referred to a hearing officer
    • There is a strong financial incentive to resolving the matter quickly at this stage in order to avoid additional financial penalties including the cost of the administrative hearing and treble damages to be paid to the employee
  • Hearings
    • In any hearing, employee may be represented by an attorney or a non-attorney advocate
    • Hearing officer can consolidate any cases listing the same employer
    • Although burden of proof is on the employee, the employer has a legal obligation to maintain records and if the employer has not done so, just and reasonable inference will be made based on evidence presented by employee
    • If employee files complaint in another venue (i.e. Small Claims Court), complaint filed with County will be withdrawn – no double filings
    • Hearing officer will issue enforceable written order upon completion of hearing
  • Damages
    • If employer is found by the hearing officer to be in violation, employee will receive treble damages as compensation for economic losses suffered due to not receiving wages at the time they were due
    • Employer, if found in violation, will also be liable to the County for the administrative costs of the hearing
  • Enforcement
    • If employer fails to comply with order within 45 days after receiving written notice from the County, the County Attorney will issue an order allowing for either a one-time 45 day extension period or may additionally order the employer to pay interest on the full amount of treble damages from the date of the finding by the hearing officer and interest on the administrative cost assessment until the amounts are paid in full
  • Effective date
    • Ordinance becomes effective, unless vetoed by the Mayor, ten days from its date of enactment on February 18

Full ordinance here

Sponsors of the Wage Theft Ordinance:

Natacha Seijas, Prime Sponsor
Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Sponsor
Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Sponsor
Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
Katy Sorenson, Co-Sponsor
Dorrin D. Rolle, Co-Sponsor

More on the South Florida Wage Theft Task Force