Florida law closely mirrors the federal Fair Labor Standards Act with regard to overtime; that is, non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay at the rate of one and one-half times the regular pay for each hour worked in a work week in excess of 40. However, as a Fort Lauderdale wage and hour lawyer observes, employers often fail to pay overtime, either through a misunderstanding of the law or intentionally to increase profitability.
Exempt employees do not receive overtime. Although the determination of whether an employee is exempt must be made on a case by case basis, a Fort Lauderdale wage and hour lawyer reports there are several categories which commonly are exempt:
- Executive employees, who primarily manage the company or a department, regularly manage two or more employees and have hiring and firing authority.
- Administrative employees, who perform primary duties for the employer or its clients and use their own discretion and judgment in the course of their duties.
- Professional employees, whose work duties require a highly specialized knowledge, such as science, technology or education
- Certain computer employees
- Certain outside sales persons
Typically, exempt employees must be paid no less than $455 a week.
A common misconception a Fort Lauderdale wage and hour lawyer regularly sees is that employers consider all salaried employees exempt. A salaried person is exempt only if they meet one of the above tests based on the nature of the job duties. For example, if a salaried employee is regularly required to work a 50 hour work week for a salary of $1000 and they are in fact non-exempt, they would be owed overtime. It would be calculated by finding their true hourly rate; $1000 divided by 50 equals $20 per hour. Half-time would be $10 per hour, multiplied by 10 hours equals $100 owed in overtime.
Some employers declare certain workers to be independent contractors, but as a Fort Lauderdale wage and hour lawyer can attest, whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee is determined by specific legal standards, such as right to control and the ability to work for employers, among others. Again, it is the nature of the duties, not the job description or job title that controls.
Other Employer Mistakes Regarding Overtime
Other ways in which employees are denied overtime include:
- Deducting hours for meals or rest breaks if the employee was on-call during that period
- Not paying for work performed “off the clock” either before or after work
- Providing “comp” time in lieu of paying overtime; overtime cannot be waived
- Not paying for time spent commuting from one jobsite to the next during the course of the work day
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Wage and Hour Attorney for Legal Advice
If your employer has miscalculated or simply failed to pay overtime that was owed, you may be eligible to receive back wages and possibly additional compensation from your employer. Find out what your rights are. Call Mark J. Berkowitz, P.A., a Fort Lauderdale wage and hour attorney, at (954) 527-0570.
By Mark J. Berkowitz | Posted on September 1, 2015