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Anyone who lives in Tampa can tell you that our city has a tough job market. Shrewd business acumen is a must for our entrepreneurs. However, increasingly cut-throat business techniques and other cost-cutting measures have also had a negative impact on our city’s residents.
Overtime denial and wage theft is a growing risk for workers in Tampa, and low-income shift workers are the ones who most often suffer from these unscrupulous business practices. The bottom line is that labor violations like forcing workers to work “off-the-clock” or denying them rightful minimum wage are illegal. Our Tampa attorneys are here to help.
If you or someone you love was a victim of wage theft or other labor violations, you don’t have to stand for it. You may be entitled to compensation such as back-pay for unpaid wages and more. Fill out our free, no-risk consultation form to see if you have a case today.
Overtime and Minimum Wage Laws in Tampa
Florida has state minimum wage laws that differ from the federal minimum wage outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). As of Jan. 1, 2017, our state’s minimum wage is $8.10 per hour. For tipped employees, the minimum wage is $5.08 per hour. Non-exempt employees are entitled to an overtime rate of not less than time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 per week. This means the overtime minimum wage in Tampa — along with the whole of Florida — falls at $12.15 per hour.
What Makes an Employee Exempt From Overtime?
Under the FLSA, all employees must be paid overtime wages for all time worked over 40 hours per week, unless they are exempt employees. Most exempt employees occupy “white-collar” roles such as administrative, executive, computer professionals, outside sales. But job title isn’t enough to classify an employee as exempt or non-exempt. Exempt employees must also pass certain qualifications to determine their overtime coverage.
The first one, the duties test, stipulates that exempt employees must perform high-level work, such as supervising employees, running a business, exercising independent judgment. “Learned professionals” that have academic degrees such as engineers, doctors, teachers, architects, registered nurses, accountants, and other professions that require advanced knowledge, are also exempt. Beyond the job duties test, any worker who makes a salary of less than $23,600 per year or $455 per week is automatically entitled to overtime.
Common Types of Wage Theft in Tampa
Wage theft can take many forms, and it is not always obvious to employees that certain business practices they may have viewed as acceptable are indeed labor violations. The most common types of wage theft in Tampa, a city known for its booming tourism, hospitality, finance, and healthcare industries, include:
Denial of Overtime: Not paying the overtime rate of time-and-a-half to non-exempt employees who work any hours over 40 per workweek is considered a denial of overtime.
Misclassification: Some employers will misclassify their workers as independent contractors, as opposed to employees, in order to avoid paying benefits and protections such as workers’ compensation, overtime, medical leave, and more.
Working “Off-The-Clock”: Employers may ask workers to complete work before or after punching out, otherwise known as working “off-the-clock.” This is illegal. Any job duties performed by the worker, even small tasks such as cleaning up, must be paid for.
Illegal Deductions: Requiring an employee to reimburse their employer for shortages in the register, cover the cost of customers who walk out on their bills, and other subtractions from a worker’s paycheck that places their pay below the minimum wage are considered illegal deductions. The FLSA also protects employees from retaliation when they file a formal complaint about their employer, whether that complaint involves wage theft, discrimination, or other workplace violations.
Sadly, retaliation is still a fact of life for some employees, and claims for workplace retaliation are on the rise, according to data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If your employer does retaliate against you after you have filed a formal complaint, our attorneys may be able to help you get justice and recover compensation.
How Can a Tampa Overtime Attorney Help You?
Our overtime attorneys in Tampa work on a contingency-free basis. This means that you will not pay any upfront costs or consultation fees. You will only pay a reasonable fee if your attorneys are successful at winning your case and recovering compensation. If you don’t win, we don’t get paid. No one should go unpaid for their hard work.
If you believe you are a victim of wage theft, our overtime attorneys in Tampa may be able to help. Fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today. You may be entitled to compensation.