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Orlando Overtime/Wage & Hour
Despite improvements over the preceding several years, we still live in a tough job market. Unfortunately, this means that some employers in Florida are increasingly willing to take liberties with wage and hour laws and regulations.
Employees, deprived of fairly earned wages as a result, are increasingly hesitant to speak up or take any action. Other workers simply do not know their rights and don't realize that employer policies that deprive them of overtime pay or force them to perform work “off the clock” are actually illegal and are violations of their labor and employment rights.
If you feel you are being deprived of wages by an employer in Orlando, a wage and hour lawyer from Morgan & Morgan may be able to help. We understand the nuances of overtime regulations and are prepared to help Florida workers stand up to unfair employers.
Contact us for a free consultation today.
Who is Subject to Overtime Laws in Florida?
The state of Florida has yet to pass a law requiring overtime pay for workers. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a federal law governing numerous aspects of the employer/employee relationship, applies to most employers in Florida:
- 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
- Any employee of a hospital or other institution caring for the sick, aged, or mentally ill
Practically speaking, this covers the vast majority of Florida employers and generally requires those employers to pay their employees an overtime premium of 150 percent of their normal hourly wage for every hour in excess of 40 worked during a recurring seven-day workweek.
Your employment attorney can explain these laws to you in more detail.
Florida Overtime Violations are Not Always Obvious
Most FLSA violations are not as obvious as an employer demanding you work 45 or 50 hours a week but refusing to pay overtime premium for the five or 10 extra hours.
The majority of Florida wage and hour violations – much like other types of violations – are subtle, so much so that many employees have gone years being deprived of wages without ever realizing it.
Employees are supposed to be compensated for the entire length of time they are furthering their employer's business, even if it exceeds 40 hours per week. Yet some employers require their employees to perform work either before clocking in or after clocking out.
This can include requiring employees to clean up after their shift has ended, asking employees to travel through security checks or traverse across the employer's facility to a distant work site before clocking in, or requiring employees to don required safety gear, equipment, or uniforms on site but before clocking in.
While 15 minutes a day may seem inconsequential, it adds up to more than an hour per week, more than a week per year, and perhaps several months over a career, in unpaid wages.
Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors
Generally speaking, wage and hour laws do not cover independent contractors. They are not entitled to a minimum wage or to overtime pay. However, you are not an independent contractor just because your employer says so.
There is a multi-factored and fact-intensive legal test for distinguishing between an employee and an independent contractor that looks at the nature of your work, the amount of supervision you receive, where your work is performed, and who provides your tools, among other things.
Misclassifying Salaried Employees
It is a common misconception that all salaried employees in Florida are exempt from overtime laws. This, however, is not the case.
While bona fide managers, executives, professionals, and administrative workers who exercise independent judgment can be exempt – and therefore can be asked to work more than 40 hours per week without receiving any extra pay or overtime bonus – other workers may still be covered under the FLSA even if they are salaried.
Those workers may be entitled to extra pay or comp time if they are asked to work extra hours.
An Orlando Employment Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Overtime Rights
No one should be forced to work for free. When Florida employers abuse their positions of power to take advantage of their workers through wage and hour violations, our Orlando overtime attorneys at Morgan & Morgan know how to get justice.
If you believe your employer has wrongfully deprived you of overtime pay, call us today at (407) 420-1414 or contact us online to have your situation evaluated for free by an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.
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Why Do I Need an Overtime Lawyer? Can I Talk With My Employer?
Before bringing up your unpaid overtime wages with your employer, it’s wise to speak with an overtime lawyer first. Discussing the circumstances with an attorney can ensure that you are correct in your assumptions. The laws concerning overtime pay are complex, and you don’t want to cause a rift with your employer if they pay you according to the appropriate regulations.
Talking with an attorney ensures you receive the appropriate legal advice for your case. An overtime lawyer can advise you on the steps you need to take to obtain back pay and make sure future paychecks are accurate.
In addition, once you have spoken with an attorney concerning your incorrect pay, you have someone who can attest to any retaliation you experience from your employer. If your employer demotes you, fires you, or takes any adverse action that affects your standing in the company, they may be subject to further legal repercussions.
At Morgan & Morgan, we offer free consultations to clients concerned about their lack of overtime pay. You can obtain our advice without needing to go directly to your employer.
What Can I Obtain Through an Overtime Lawsuit?
Suppose that you decide to pursue legal action against your employer for failing to pay you for working overtime. In that case, you may receive monetary compensation equal to the difference between your actual pay and what you were due.
Florida law also allows for liquidated damages in overtime pay. Liquidated damages are equal to the amount of your unpaid overtime.
For instance, if your employer failed to pay you $4,000 in overtime, you can collect the $4,000 plus an additional $4,000 in liquidated damages.
You must follow a specific process to receive liquidated damages from a Florida employer. An attorney at Morgan & Morgan can walk you through the appropriate steps.
You can also recover monetary compensation for the cost of your case, including attorney’s fees and filing costs. You may be entitled to financial and injunctive remedies if your case involves employer retaliation.
Can You Help With Other Types of Employment Issues?
Yes, Morgan and Morgan are skilled experts in employment law. We can help you resolve cases related to underpaid wages and bonuses, workers’ compensation, gender and disability discrimination, wrongful termination, and many others.
If your case involves multiple concerns about your employment, we can ensure to include all the relevant issues in your claim.
What Do I Need to Prove My Overtime Case?
To fully develop your case, we’ll need copies of your pay stubs and evidence of the additional time you worked. Often, employers use time-tracking systems when determining the pay for their employees. If you have documentation of your time through these systems, it will help prove your case.
Additional evidence, such as statements from family and friends, can assist in proving your case. We’ll also examine the full details of your role within the organization, including your duties and responsibilities, to ensure your employer has classified you appropriately as a non-exempt employee.
What Is the Difference Between an Exempt and a Non-Exempt Employee?
An exempt employee receives a salary above minimum wage laws. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to pay exempt employees overtime. An exempt employee will fit into specific categories: executive, professional, computer, administrative, or outside sales.
Non-exempt employees do not receive a salary, and their roles do not fit into the FLSA’s classifications for exempt workers. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime after they work more than 40 hours per week. Examples of non-exempt employee roles include restaurant workers and customer service agents.
How Long Do I Have to File an Overtime Lawsuit Against My Employer?
You can file a complaint with the federal government under the FLSA for up to two years following your employer’s initial violation of the overtime law. If you can prove your employer acted willfully in their decision to underpay you, the FLSA extends the time limit to three years.
Under Florida law, you may file a civil lawsuit four years after the initial underpayment or five years if the employer’s actions were willful.
How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Overtime Case?
Once your employer recognizes your intent to sue them for unpaid overtime, they have up to 15 days to resolve your complaint by paying you the amount you are due. If they disagree with your complaint, your attorney will discuss the matter with them to understand their concerns.
If the employer refuses to pay your unpaid overtime within the 15-day time limit, you may receive liquidated damages equal to the outstanding amount.
Any case involving other employment infractions like retaliation or discrimination will take longer to resolve.
Your attorney will advise you on the timeline for resolving your case and the potential of completing it through settlement or in court.
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