Employers in various industries sometimes try to minimize labor expenses in illegal ways. And unfortunately, unpaid overtime is an extremely common wage violation. Employers are required to pay employees 1.5 times their standard pay rate when they work over 40 hours per week. Some employers attempt to evade these requirements by encouraging employees to work off the clock, incorrectly claiming that certain roles are exempt, and/or labeling workers as independent contractors.
Fair Labor Standards Act
The state of Florida follows the guidelines specified by the Fair Labor Standards Act, which defines a workweek as a consecutive seven-day period. This does not have to coincide with the calendar week, but the period must be fixed. Employers cannot average hours over a multiple-week period to avoid overtime pay, and overtime wages must be paid in the same pay period in which they were earned.
Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Status
Some roles and employment arrangements are exempt from overtime payment requirements. Exempt or non-exempt status is determined by which job duties you perform. Employers cannot avoid overtime pay by changing your job title but keeping your job requirements the same.
Positions and industries exempt from overtime wage standards include:
Since some positions are very specific in their requirements, getting an expert opinion can help you clarify your role, as well as its exempt or non-exempt status.
Collecting Back Wages
If you have been illegally denied overtime pay, you can – and should – try to recover these lost wages from your employer. Discussing payment issues can be intimidating, however, which is why having reliable legal representation is a must. An attorney well versed in employment law can help steer the conversation during these types of difficult discussions, as well as ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
You deserve to be compensated for your hard work. If you’re being underpaid for your overtime work, call the Law Office of Keith M. Stern, P.A. at (305) 901-1379 for a free case evaluation.