Overtime Pay Overview
Orlando, Orange County and Central Florida Employment Litigation Attorneys
Recent legal news regarding overtime pay.
As employment litigation attorneys, we at Allen & Murphy handle cases involving wages and overtime, and we have provided this helpful information for our clients. More resources are available online at various government and third-party websites, and you are of course free to contact our firm with questions involving overtime or any employment issue.
Overtime for employees in the private sector is governed by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), also known as the Federal Wage and Hour Law. States are free to implement their own overtime laws also. Whether your company hires employees who work overtime in Florida, or you yourself are an employee who receives or believes you should receive overtime pay, it is important to understand and apply overtime law.
The state of Florida has just one special provision for overtime law:
Florida overtime law states that a legal day’s work for a manual laborer is 10 hours (FL Stat. Sec. 448.01). Unless there is a written contract that specifies more or less than the 10 hours’ work, employers may not require manual laborers to work a longer day without extra pay. This applies to employees who perform manual work by the day, week, month or year.
Aside from this law regarding manual laborers, Florida overtime law has no other specific regulations of its own. Consequently, all overtime questions involving employees in the private sector are governed by the federal FLSA.
To view the FLSA website, click here.
The FLSA requires companies engaged in interstate or foreign commerce to pay overtime of one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.
A workweek equals seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It need not coincide with the calendar week but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day. Although overtime must be computed weekly, FLSA does not require that it be paid on a weekly basis; it requires only that overtime be paid on the next regular payday covering the period in which the overtime is earned. If the amount of overtime owed cannot be calculated until after the next regular payday, the payment must be made as soon as possible, but no later than the next regular payday after the calculation can be made.
The FLSA does not require that overtime be paid for hours worked in excess of eight hours per day or on weekends or holidays.
There are various classifications of employees for the purpose of determining who is eligible for overtime pay.
Employers must be careful to properly assign these classifications. Sometimes employers misclassify an employee, or consider them ‘exempt’ when they are not exempt. If it is discovered that overtime has been withheld, employees may be able to obtain not only back overtime pay, but also the same amount of money as a penalty.
The FLSA covers when overtime should be paid:
For covered, nonexempt employees, the FLSA requires overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times an employee's regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a workweek. Some exceptions to the 40 hours per week standard apply under special circumstances to police officers and fire fighters employed by public agencies and to employees of hospitals and nursing homes.
Consider the numbers:
If an employee worked overtime without getting paid time and a half (1.5 times their regular hourly pay rate), and the employee is not exempt (excluded) under the FLSA, then that employee has a valid claim for overtime wages. This employee could legally recover the overtime wages that should have been paid, plus interest and attorney fees.
The Court could also award an additional amount of liquidated damages equal to the amount of overtime that should have been received. A claim can go back for two years of income, and in some special cases, three years is allowed. See how this adds up…at a wage of $10 per hour, if an employer owes an employee for just four hours per week overtime, that’s $60 for each week. For two years, the amount owed totals $6,240, plus interest. The Court might award another $6,240 in liquidated damages, making the total recovery $12,480, and the attorney fees would also have to be paid by the employer.
Note also that the minimum wage must be upheld at all times. President George W. Bush signed a bill that addresses raising the minimum wage. Minimum wage will increase to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008, and to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.
Countless employers underpay employees, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Knowing the laws and facts is critical. Allen & Murphy is well versed at employee litigation and is happy to answer your questions. If you or a family member overtime pay or employment claim, do not hesitate to
contact us or call us at 800-393-8686 to discuss the situation. We are here to help.
Allen & Murphy. determined. focused. fearless.
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