While our country’s maternity and paternity leave may not be as generous as other nations around the world, our workers are afforded minimum decencies and rights that many do not receive. There are laws in place to combat workplace discrimination and wrongful termination. There are also safeguards that allow employees to petition for unpaid wages. For the most part, the rights of the employee are protected.
Sadly, many people don’t fully understand these rights so many workers get taken advantage of either through greed or a lack of knowledge of the law on behalf of the employer. Knowing your rights is the first step to getting what you are entitled to.
Florida Wage and Hours Laws Overview
Since 1938 and the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), minimum wage was set and all employees covered by this act must be paid in accordance to its terms. It also made stipulations for time above 40 hours a week to be paid at time and a half. FLSA also protected children in hazardous work conditions (a needed provision at the time but one we take for granted today) and introduced a standard of company recordkeeping.
Florida also has its own protections and minimum wage. In cases where there are federal and state laws, the law affording the worker the greater protection is followed and overrides the other. Such is the case for minimum wage in Florida. The nation’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, in Florida it is $8.05 (for non-tipped workers). Florida’s higher rate trumps the federal one in cases of employees in the sunshine state.
Often with minimum wage, it is set and remains as such for years, with no cost of living adjustment. This is not the case in Florida. Employees in this state are provided yearly adjustments to the minimum wage through provisions in the state constitution.
This is good for employees and their families as it minimizes the need for government assistance. . and protects employees from unfair wage battles on cheap labor. If you are receiving minimum wage you should be seeing yearly adjustments to your salary. If not, contact a Florida wage dispute attorney.
FLSA Does Not Cover Everyone
Some occupations are not covered under FLSA and the minimum wage does not apply to their employment. Such occupations include but are not limited to:
- Movie theater employees
- Farm workers
- Baby sitters or independent childcare
- Independent contractors or freelancers
- Executive level employees who are paid a salary
If you are uncertain as to whether you are eligible for minimum wage or not, your human resources director can advise you. If you’d like an independent opinion, consult an employment attorney as there are many stipulations that may not be obvious without knowledge of the law.
Wage and Hour Disputes: What Can I Do?
If you believe your rights have been violated, either by paying you under minimum wage or refusing to provide the overtime you’re due, Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. can help. We have over 20 years experience in helping workers in the Tampa Bay area receive the wages they’re due. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.