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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.