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Florida Overtime Wage Claims – Does your Employer Owe You Money?

August 11, 2009

The recent downturn in the economy has led many employers to make hard decisions about how to most effectively reduce costs while continuing to run a business and keep it profitable through a recession. Because employee wages represent an area that can be trimmed or scaled back, many businesses have been forced to lay off workers. But these job cuts can mean an increase in work for the remaining employees who have to pick up the workload of the people who have been laid off. This has often resulted in the remaining employees investing longer hours or weekend hours at the workplace so they can keep up with the higher demand. But, did you know that overtime wages is a common area where employers take advantage of their workers? These overworked employees should protect themselves by becoming familiar with the applicable labor laws.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1937. It is one of the primary laws dealing with overtime. The FLSA established a legal work week of 40 hours and mandated a special overtime rate of one and one-half times the normal wages for any hours worked beyond that limit. In some cases, the Fair Labor Standards Act provides employees with a means of suing for back overtime pay for up to three years from the date their lawsuit is filed.

Employers may try to "get away" with not paying overtime by incorrectly categorizing employees to get around the law. You may still have a Florida overtime wage claim and be entitled to further compensation even if you are:

  • Improperly counted as an independent contractor – if you are generally controlled by the company, you are not an independent contractor.
  • Required to get overtime pay/hours approved – if you are working overtime but are not being paid for it because overtime has not been approved, you may have a Florida overtime wage claim.
  • Paid with tips – you can not be required to share tips with managers, cooks or chefs, dishwashers or other not-entitled employees. (While this is not really overtime, it is nice to know.)
  • On call – if you are required to be at meetings or training periods outside of business hours that you are not compensated for, you may have an overtime wage case.
  • Improper recording of hours worked – this applies to employees who work beyond "set" time periods (example: your wage stops at 5:00 p.m., but you are required to clean up and put away equipment after that time, and are not paid additional wages for the additional time worked).

Many employees who feel they are not being properly compensated for overtime worked are afraid that if they file a Florida overtime wage claim, they may lose their job or incur other punishments, especially with the economy in turmoil. These workers should be assured that the FLSA prohibits employers from retaliating against a worker who asserts his or her rights.

Employees who believe they fall under any of the above categories and think they may be owed overtime under the FLSA should contact a professional overtime attorney. These experienced attorneys know the complex labor laws extremely well and can help you recover the Florida overtime wage that may be owed to you, in addition to potential damage claims.

If you have a question or need information about Florida overtime wage claims, contact Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.jmmlawyers.com, 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 claim

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