Posts Tagged ‘monroe florida overtime wage’

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Tricks That South Florida Employers May Use To Get Out Of Paying Overtime Wages

September 12, 2010

Everyone is trying to stretch their money during these uncertain economic times, including employers. In fact, some employers will go out of their way to try to get around the overtime wage laws so they can avoid having to spend more money on worker salaries. You may have been wrongly denied overtime and might not even be aware of it.

Here are a few tricks that employers may try to use to get around paying South Florida overtime wages:

  • Even if they don’t know the details, every employer has a general idea of state and federal labor laws and they are aware that employees are entitled to overtime. In order to avoid paying overtime, they may not give the worker "employee" status and may instead call workers "independent contractors". Anyone can be called an independent contractor but there is a legal standard that designates an employee from an independent contractor. If the employer controls the time and manner of how your work is performed, supplies you with all the materials needed to do your job, and pays you on an hourly or salary basis, you are most likely an employee, not an independent contractor.
    • Another way to get around the labor law is to call the employee a manager, which means they are exempt from overtime wages. If you have the power to hire and fire workers and more than 50 percent of your work time is devoted to management duties, you may be exempt from receiving overtime wages. However, if your management responsibilities mean you spend a high percentage of your workday engaged in non-management tasks, such as answering phones and filing, and you only are responsible for duties such as cashing out a register at the end of a shift or carrying an over-ride key, you may not actually be a manager and may not be exempt from overtime pay in South Florida.
      • Employees under H-1B status: H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by foreign workers who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation and it requires a sponsoring U.S. employer. Many companies are increasingly hiring workers from overseas, particularly for the IT field, because the workers will settle for lesser wages. Oftentimes, the foreign worker is either unaware of or afraid to assert their rights, which allows an employer to get around the overtime wage laws.
        • If you must take unpaid breaks or if you find yourself being required to work through lunch, you may be owed overtime. An employer must pay you for breaks of more than 5 minutes and less than 20 minutes or if you are required to complete work-related duties during your lunch break, but must clock out for that lunch break..
          • With all the new communication technology out there, you may be required to check your company Blackberry or PDA, or answer emails or texts after work hours, which may entitle you to overtime pay.
            • If you are required to be ‘on call’ and must report to work on short notice, you may be entitled to overtime pay.
              • For many South Florida employees, the threat of losing their job is enough to make them overlook the overtime wages they should be getting but aren’t. However, you should be aware that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibits an employer from punishing or firing an employee who has asserted his or her rights to overtime wages.

              Do you think you might have a South Florida overtime claim? Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus can help you determine if your employer may owe you money. Call him at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today. The Law Office of Joseph M. Maus and Associates has handled some of the largest South Florida overtime 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 for more information on South Florida overtime claims.

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              The Top 5 Ways Employers Get Around South Florida Overtime Wages Laws

              June 30, 2010

              Many people work overtime without the proper compensation because employers try to get around the overtime wage laws. In fact, the Department of Labor estimates that approximately 70 percent of employers are not complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This Act, in effect since 1937, requires non-exempt workers to be paid overtime wages if they work more than a standard 40 hour work week.

              The following are the top 5 ways that employers try to bend the South Florida overtime wage laws:

              1. Misclassifying Employees as Exempt Workers (Job Title and Salary) – Because the FLSA states that exempt employees are are not entitled to receive overtime pay, employers sometimes give their workers titles that imply that they are in different status than they actually are. The FLSA exemption rules can be confusing, but be assured that exemptions have nothing to do with a job title or job description. In addition, employees are often paid a salary instead of a hourly wage so the employer can avoid paying overtime. Being paid a salary, however, may not make you exempt from overtime wage compensation.

              2. Unpaid Compensable Time – Many companies require workers to do "little" things off-the-clock. They often don’t compensate employees for these extras, but the time spent on these tasks can add up. Think about the times you have answered company emails or phone calls while on your lunch break, before you clock in, or after you clock out for the day. In addition, if you are required to put on or take off a uniform or personal protective equipment, come in early or stay late for a change-of-shift-meeting, or set up and clean up your work area, you may be entitled to your regular wages for the extra time you are spending on these tasks.

              3. Comp Time Instead of Overtime Pay – Sometimes employers will give non-exempt workers time off in lieu of overtime pay. This compensatory time is usually referred to as "comp time." An example of this would be when a company offers comp time during a busy period, which the employee can take after the work has slowed down. The employee, however, may be missing out on the 1.5 times pay they should have received in wages instead of comp time. Comp time is legal, but should be given in the same increment as overtime wages would have been – at time-and-a-half per hour.

              4. False Reporting – Many companies will not permit overtime or pay for it without advance authorization, so they refuse to count and pay for overtime hours worked. The FLSA, however, requires non-exempt employees to be paid for any overtime they put in.

              5. Improperly Calculated Overtime Pay – Often, employers pay on a bi-weekly basis. For example, an employee may work 50 hours in one of those weeks and 30 during the other week. The employer will add the two weeks together and average the employee’s hours at 40 per week. Under the FLSA, however, the employee in this scenario would be entitled to overtime compensation for the 10 extra hours worked during the 50 hour week. In fact, the FLSA says that all work over 40 hours in a workweek must be paid at a rate of one and one-half times the employee’s regular hourly rate. This applies to non-exempt employees whether they get paid weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or on a monthly basis.

              Don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights. The FLSA prohibits an employer from punishing or firing an employee who has asserted his or her rights to overtime wages.

              Do you think you may have a South Florida overtime claim? Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus can help you determine if your employer may owe you money. Call him at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today. The Law Office of Joseph M. Maus and Associates has handled some of the largest South Florida overtime 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 for more information on South Florida overtime claims.

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              Are You Working Overtime in South Florida And Not Being Paid For It?

              May 15, 2010

              Because of the current recession, many employees have been laid off. Their co-workers, while happy to still have a job, have been forced to pick up the slack left after the former employee’s departure. As a result, millions of American workers are now doing “double-duty” at work and putting in lots of overtime. To add insult to injury, the Department of Labor estimates that approximately 70 percent of employers are not complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which requires non-exempt workers to be paid overtime wages if they work more than a standard 40 hour work week.

              Since 1937, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has set the labor standards and guidelines for employers. The FLSA established 40 hours per week as the legal work week and requires overtime pay to be due to an employee for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour work week. The FLSA also set the rate for overtime wages at 1.5 times the regular hourly wage for each hour worked beyond the 40 hour week.

              Often, employers try to get around paying this overtime. They misclassify workers as exempt by giving them important-sounding job titles or by paying them salaries instead of hourly wages. The labors laws have gray areas, though, and there are certain salaried employees who are entitled to overtime pay and certain job titles that are non-exempt even though it sounds like the employee is in an executive or administrative position. A job title alone does not exempt a worker from overtime pay.

              People in certain occupations are also routinely denied overtime pay even though they are entitled to it. As an example, nurses are generally thought of as exempt employees because they are considered “learned professionals.” But, licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses who are paid hourly may be entitled to overtime pay. Additional violations can come up regarding breaks and meal times for nurses. Some employers and staffing agencies automatically deduct these breaks and meal times from a nurse’s weekly hours even if he or she is too busy to take a break, but many courts have ruled that these policies are also in violation of the FLSA.

              To qualify for the learned professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

              • The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $455 per week;

              • The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;

              • The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and

              • The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

              Registered nurses who are paid on an hourly basis should receive overtime pay. However, registered nurses who are registered by the appropriate State examining board generally meet the duties requirements for the learned professional exemption, and if paid on a salary basis of at least $455 per week, may be classified as exempt.

              Are you owed overtime pay? You are qualified to collect overtime in South 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 wo
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