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The job market has been looking up, but employers haven’t taken the hint. Many continue to bend or break wage and hour rules set up by Florida and the government, unwilling to give their workers their due. Melbourne is home to several defense and high tech companies, industries not necessarily associated with wage theft, but overtime occurs across industries, and based on your situation, you may be eligible.
Employees, deprived of fairly earned wages, have become increasingly hesitant to speak up or take action, either out of a lack of knowledge about their position, fear of losing their job, or something else entirely.
If you feel you are being deprived of wages by an employer in Melbourne, one of Morgan & Morgan’s knowledgeable wage and hour lawyers may be able to help. We understand the nuances of overtime regulations and are prepared to help Florida workers stand up to unfair employers. Fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form to learn more today.
Who Is Eligible For Overtime Protections in Florida?
Overtime protections are afforded to the majority of workers in Florida under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which protects:
- Any employee of an enterprise engaged in interstate commerce which has gross receipts of at least $500,000 per year;
- Any domestic worker who earns at least $1,700 per year or works at least eight hours per week; and
- Any employee of a hospital or other institution caring for the sick, aged, or mentally ill.
Realistically, this covers a majority of Florida employers and their employees, and so requires most of them to pay an overtime premium of 150 percent for every hour in excess of 40 worked in a recurring seven-day week.
Violations Might Not Always Be Obvious
Most FLSA violations are not as clear as having to work more than 40 hours but not get paid the premium for that extra five or 10 hours. The majority of Florida wage and hour violations — much like other types of violations — are subtle, and many employees have gone years being deprived of their well-earned cash because of that subtlety.
Employees are supposed to be compensated for the entire time they are furthering their employer’s business, even if it exceeds 40 hours a week. Yet some employers require their employees to perform work either before clocking in or after clocking out. This can mean requiring you to do a variety of things, like clean up after your shift, travel through security checkpoints or traverse across a facility to a distant worksite, or putting on extensive safety equipment and uniforms before clocking in. Fifteen minutes of extra work a day might seem inconsequential, but that’s more than an hour a week, more than a week a year, and up to several months over the course of a career, all unpaid.
Wage and hour laws do not generally cover independent contractors. They aren’t entitled to minimum wage or overtime. However, you may not be an independent contractor just because your employer declares you are. There are several factors and fact-intensive legal tests for distinguishing between an employee and an independent contractor. This includes your amount of supervision, the nature of your work, where the work is performed, and who provides your tools, among other things. Salaried employees can also be misclassified. Managers, executives, professionals, and administrative workers who exercise independent judgment can be exempt, and thus asked to work for more than 40 hours per a weeklong period.
Contact Morgan & Morgan Today
No one should be forced to work for free. When Florida employers abuse their positions of power to take advantage of workers, our Melbourne attorneys can help you seek justice. If you believe your employer in Melbourne has wrongfully deprived you of overtime pay, contact us for a free case evaluation to have your situation evaluated by an experienced Melbourne attorney.