Check to see if you are eligible to file a claim for wage theft

Wage theft victims

Whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, if the company or contractor didn't pay you the full amount you’ve earned, then you have legal options available to you.

We're here to help you recover any wages you are entitled to.


You may qualify for the Wage Recovery Program, if you meet the conditions below:

  • You are an employee or independent contractor who performed work in Hillsborough County
  • The company or person you worked for failed to pay or underpaid the appropriate wage for your work, including but not limited to:
    • failure to pay agreed upon wage rate
    • failure to pay for time worked just before you put in your notice or were terminated
    • incorrectly calculating overtime
  • The amount of wages owed is more than $60
  • A reasonable amount of time has elapsed from when work was performed and when you should have received the wages

How to file a claim

Call Consumer Protection Services at (813) 635-8316 or fill out our online complaint form. We will assess your situation and provide information on which options are available to you, including:

Wage recovery process

  • If we determine that mediation is your best option, we will assist you with filing the claim
  • The 13th Judicial Mediation and Diversions Services Program will send a notice to the employer. During mediation there are two available outcomes:
    • Successful mediation: all wages are paid
    • Unsuccessful mediation: if you qualify, the matter is referred to Bay Area Legal Services, or you can find private legal counsel

If mediation is unsuccessful

Bay Area Legal Services, or your private counsel, will begin their case consultation and advise you on your best options, including:

  • Terminating the claim
  • Proceeding to civil court
  • Proceeding to an administrative hearing held by our Code Enforcement Board

If it proceeds to an administrative hearing

A ruling will be made for you or the employer. The ruling may result in:

  • You recover your wages
  • You recover your wages plus damages, up to two times the original withheld amount
  • The employer pays administrative costs
  • Dismissal if you fail to prove the claim
  • You pay administrative costs if it is found you filed unjustly, in retaliation, or for harassment purposes

Things to consider

  • There is no cost to filing a complaint, and you do not need an attorney
  • You do not have to have legal status as a citizen to file a wage theft complaint. However, Bay Area Legal Services, Inc. cannot accept you as a client if you are not a legal citizen.
  • The claim could be resolved prior to court, or through court, with a ruling enforceable by the court if that is the outcome


Contact/Get help

For more information, email or call Consumer Protection Services at (813) 635-8316.

Last Modified: 2/6/2024, 9:06:23 PM

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