8 Ways Employers Bend The Florida Overtime Wage Laws

December 30, 2008

The Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) requires employees who work overtime to be paid for the additional work they have done beyond the standard 40 hour work week. Even though this law is supposed to make things standard across the country so all employees are treated fairly, some employers routinely "cheat" their employees out of overtime pay, even if they do it unintentionally. Because the law is confusing and complex, it is easy for employers to either misinterpret the FSLA or to "bend" the law to avoid paying their employees fair compensation for time worked.

In order to decide if you are owed an overtime wage in Florida, you need to consult with an attorney who is familiar with the law in your state. Even though the FLSA standardizes the wage laws, states have certain variations of the law, but the following represent some job categories that typically don’t pay overtime, even though the employee may really be entitled to it:

  1. Putting in hours "off the clock" – does your employer require you to perform duties before or after your work day starts or ends? An example would be a dental office employee who is required to turn on equipment before clocking in for the morning, or to close down the equipment before leaving for the day and after clocking out.
  2. Unpaid breaks or working through lunch – you may be owed an overtime wage if your Florida employer does not pay you for breaks of more than 5 minutes and less than 20 minutes or if you are required to clock out for lunch, but must complete work-related duties during your lunch break.
  3. Taking home work – if you take work home with you, generally the employer must pay you for that additional work time.
  4. Meetings or training – are you are required to attend a meeting or do some training outside of work hours? An example would be a morning "briefing" before clocking in.
  5. Pre-approval of overtime – do you need to get pre-approval before working overtime? If your employer will not pay for unapproved overtime even if you work extra hours, talk to a Florida attorney about that overtime wage!
  6. Combining work weeks – if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you should be paid for overtime that week even if your employer combines two or more weeks on a paycheck. For example, some employees get paid bi-weekly or semi-monthly which means an employer may refuse to pay overtime for the first week at, say, 45 hours when the second week is less than 40 hours because they’ll combine the two to get a total of 80 hours or less.
  7. On call – if you are required to be ‘on call’ and must report to work on short notice, you may be entitled to overtime pay.
  8. Fancy job title – you may have a snappy job title that makes you feel important (and means the employer thinks he can get away with not paying you overtime). For example, if you are a "supervisor" but don’t actually supervise anything, see a lawyer about those Florida overtime wage laws!

If you are reading this and you’ve worked more than 40 hours a week more often than you’d like to think about, consider that you might be able to collect an overtime wage in Florida. Florida attorney Joseph M. Maus says "Don’t wait too long to consult with an attorney. 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".

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 offices were recently appointed in Federal


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