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In recent years the economy has improved, but the job market is still tough for many. Even for those that do have jobs, earning a living wage is difficult. This is especially true when employers don’t adhere to wage and hour laws and pay their employees less than they are owed.
Tallahassee is home to industries highly susceptible to wage theft, such as retail and health services. For instance, you may be asked to work overtime to care for patients or cover holidays without pay, but that is just one example of wage theft. If you think you were the victims of wage theft, you don’t need to stand for it. You can’t be retaliated against for reporting wage theft so don’t be afraid to come forward.
At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys understand how wage theft occurs and may be able to help you recoup the wages you are owed. Contact us today to find out how one of our wage and hour attorneys may be able to help.
Who Benefits From Overtime Laws in Florida?
Overtime protections aren’t extended by the state of Florida. However, there is a federal law — the Fair Labor Standards Act — that governs a variety of aspects of the employer/employee relationship through the country.
Employees protected by the FLSA include:
- 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
This covers the vast majority of Florida employees and makes them eligible to receive an overtime premium of 150 percent (time-and-a-half) of their normal hourly wage for every hour in excess of 40 worked for seven consecutive days.
Violations Might Not Always Be Obvious
Most FLSA violations aren’t as cut and dry as your employer demanding you work more than 40 hours in a week while denying you the overtime premium for those hours.
The majority of violations are subtle, so it’s possible to go months or years without realizing you were being deprived of overtime wages.
This can include small things like making you clean up after your shift has ended, asking you to travel through security checks or across a large facility before clocking in, or requiring employees to dress in safety gear or uniforms on site before clocking in. While these tasks may take just a few minutes each day, that could add up to a large sum of money when it accrues over months and years. These are just a few of the ways employers can violate your time, but an even greater threat to your wallet looms in how you are classified.
Employees can be misclassified as independent contractors, or as salaried employees, often as a means of circumventing overtime rules. But you are not an independent contractor just because your employer says you are. There are is a fact-intensive, rigorous legal test for distinguishing between an employee and an independent contractor, and includes a variety of variables such as the nature of your work, the amount of supervision you receive, where the work is performed, and who provides your tools, among other questions. It’s a common misconception that all salaried employees in Florida are exempt from overtime laws. Bona fide managers, executives, professionals, and administrative workers who exercise independent judgment — this is just one of many keys, but often a telling one — can be exempt from overtime rules.
A Tallahassee Employment Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Rights
No one should be forced to work for free. It’s not just inappropriate, it’s illegal. When Florida employers abuse their positions of power to take advantage of workers, our team of wage and hour attorneys is ready to try and help you recoup the wages you are owed.
If you believe your employer has wrongfully deprived you of overtime pay, contact us for a free case evaluation to have your situation evaluated to find if one of our experienced attorneys in Tallahassee can help.