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6 Reasons You May Be Owed An Overtime Wage In Florida

December 11, 2008

Most employees go to work, put in their forty hours, and collect their wages a couple of times a month. Occasionally an employer will ask workers to stay late or come in early if workloads are heavier than expected. Usually these workers are paid overtime for the extra hours they put in. However some employees may be working overtime routinely for no additional compensation even if they are entitled to it. You are qualified to collect an overtime wage in Florida if you work more than forty hours in a week, even if:

  • You are paid a salary
  • You are a tipped employee
  • Your job title is manager, but you do very little managerial work
  • You are paid on a piece work or per trip basis
  • You are not a U.S. Citizen
  • You don’t have records of all the hours you worked

Many jobs seem to feel that employees "belong" to the company even after their regular workday has ended. Workers can’t seem to escape the office, especially now, when cell phones, Blackberries and other devices can keep them on an electronic leash. We’ve all seen the harried worker pacing the sidewalk outside a restaurant, cell phone glued to his ear, while his family eats dinner without him. Or the Mom who sneaks out during her daughter’s school play because the office is on the phone. Most of the time, this extra duty is given to the employer without compensation in return. But, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires workers to be paid overtime after 40 hours of work in a week, so should these employees be paid overtime?

In general, the Department of Labor says a company that has $500,000 or more in annual sales needs to pay it’s employees an overtime wage in Florida. And hospitals, businesses providing medical or nursing care for residents, schools and preschools, and government agencies must pay overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (see http://www.dol.gov) also covers "individual workers who are ‘engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.’ Examples of employees who are involved in interstate commerce include those who: produce goods (such as a worker assembling components in a factory or a secretary typing letters in an office) that will be sent out of state, regularly make telephone calls to persons located in other States, handle records of interstate transactions, travel to other States on their jobs, and do janitorial work in buildings where goods are produced for shipment outside the State" and they all must be paid an overtime wage in Florida. In addition, the FLSA says "domestic service workers (such as housekeepers, full-time babysitters, and cooks) are normally covered by the law". So, even if you work for a local company that has no connections to another state, you are probably still covered by the FLSA.

The Fair Labor Standards Act says it "requires overtime pay for covered, non-exempt employees 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 firefighters employed by public agencies and to employees of hospitals and nursing homes. Some states also have enacted overtime laws."

So, you’ve worked more than 40 hours a week more often than you’d like to think about and now you’re questioning whether you might be able to collect an overtime wage in Florida. "Don’t wait too long", says Florida attorney Joseph M. Maus. "The FLSA only permits an employee to recover up to two years (sometimes three years if the employer’s violation is found to have been willfull) of unpaid back-wages. With every day that passes, you lose valuable time in which to recover your overtime".

In Florida, an overtime wage must be paid to most workers if they have worked overtime hours. This is equal to time-and-a-half or 150% of their normal pay rate. There are exceptions to this rule, but they can be confusing. Your job duties, the Federal FLSA, and the number of hours worked all come into play when determining whether an employee is eligible for overtime pay. It is best to consult an attorney who is experienced in Florida overtime wage law to find out if you are due more pay for the hours you have worked.

If you have a question or need information on Florida overtime wage claims, contact Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today. The Law Office of Joseph M. Maus and Associates has handled some of the largest Florida overtime wage claims. Attorneys in their office were recently appointed in Federal Court as lead counsel in an Overtime Class Action against a large Fortune 500 Company. Call their offices today for a free consultation or to obtain more information on Florida overtime wage claims.

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