The job market has been looking up of late, but employers might still be looking down on you as workers. Many continue to bend or break overtime and other employment rules set up by local and federal government, leaving workers out of luck and feeling like they’re out of options.
Employees, deprived of fairly earned wages, are increasingly hesitant to speak up or take action, out of a lack of knowledge about their position, fear of losing their job, or another factor that frightens them into inaction. Our overtime attorneys may be able to investigate your overtime claims.
If you think you or someone you know is being or was deprived of wages by an employer in Sarasota, our knowledgeable overtime 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. To learn more, fill out our case review form for a free evaluation.
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.
- 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 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, traverse across a facility to a distant worksite, or put 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’re not 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.
A Sarasota Attorney can Help you Understand Your Rights
No one should be forced to work for free. When Florida employers abuse their positions of power to take advantage of workers, our Sarasota attorneys can help you seek justice.
If you believe your employer has wrongfully deprived you of overtime pay, contact us for a free case evaluation to have your situation evaluated by an experienced Sarasota attorney.