Cases of unpaid wages will very likely rise later this year, after a recent Department of Labor (DOL) rule changed the minimum requirements for overtime exemption. Florida employees — brace yourselves for changes which may mean that you are entitled to overtime pay even if you were previously exempt from the overtime provisions of the wage-hour laws.
Changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal law which governs minimum wage and overtime eligibility, which significantly alter the overtime provisions of the Act take effect on December 1, 2016.
Beginning this December, if you are paid a salary, the minimum salary needed to be considered exempt from overtime will be raised from $455 per week to $913 per week or $47,476 annually. If you would otherwise be exempt (not entitled to overtime) because you are considered exempt under what are referred to as the executive, administrative, and professional exemption, as well as exemptions extended to certain sales functions, computer and technical positions, and other highly skilled trades, you may be eligible for overtime if the increased salary test is not met. If you are now below the minimum weekly salary amount and no other exemptions apply to you, then one of two things must happen on December 1, 2016:
- Your salary must either increase to $47,476; or
- Your employer must pay you for the overtime premium for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek
Policy statements explain that the new salary requirements take effect December 1, 2016 to combat the prevalence of “overworked” employees in America. As one of the hardest working nations in the world, Americans deserve to be compensated for dedicating long nights and weekends away from family and friends to support the success of businesses in this country succeed.
If you are not being paid overtime, then learn more about filing an unpaid overtime claim in Tampa below.
How does the new DOL overtime rule affect unpaid wage claims?
Many employment lawyers and legal experts predict the new FLSA overtime exemption rule will raise the number of wage and hour unpaid overtime claims beginning this December. That is because, despite the new regulations, many employers will fail to reclassify employees as non-exempt.
This predicted trend of increasing FLSA cases due to the new overtime exemption rule is consistent with the increasing trend of FLSA cases for reasons unrelated to this particular change in law. According to GCN, “FLSA lawsuits have increased 400 percent in the last 15 years, and FLSA violations have been found in 79 percent of agency-initiated investigations.”
Why are collective action lawsuits common with unpaid overtime claims?
The truth about unpaid overtime is, it commonly affects not just you, but many employees at once. The practice of not paying overtime or misclassification as exempt is often seen across the board in companies. This means that if you are not being paid overtime, then chances are, neither is your co-worker.
The wage hour laws provide a unique approach to wage claims that involve more than one employee. A “collective action” may be brought by one or more employees on behalf of that employee and also those who are also subject to the same pay policy resulting in unpaid minimum wage or unpaid overtime premiums. There is strength in numbers.
How do I make a wage and hour unpaid overtime claim in Tampa?
It’s important to speak to an experienced employment law attorney to prepare your FLSA unpaid overtime case. If your employer refuses to pay you the overtime you are owed, then you are entitled to your unpaid wages, and may be eligible for additional damages and payment of your attorney’s fees and costs. If your employer is not paying a group of employees the minimum wage or overtime wages owed, you may find yourself in a unique position to vindicate not only your rights but the rights of your co-workers. When hiring an employee rights attorney to collect your unpaid overtime, you may be understandably concerned about the costs of the litigation. If you are the prevailing party, the law provides that the employer is required to pay any reasonable attorney fees in addition to the wages you were owed.
Do you need help filing an FLSA unpaid overtime claim in Tampa?
The best thing you can do for you or anyone you know who is affected by unpaid overtime is seek the advice of an experienced employment law attorney. Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., for a free confidential consultation today.