Full-time employees often are asked to work more than 40 hours per week. But is mandatory overtime legal? The answer to that question is not simple, but as a general rule, many employers do have the ability to demand mandatory overtime from their employees. And if you qualify for overtime pay, which many hourly workers do under federal and Florida wage and hour laws, you should get paid appropriately (typically time and a half).
Depending on your field and situation, there may be certain limitations on mandatory overtime, which make your employer legally bound to honor those requirements. It is important to understand your particular employment parameters to ensure your rights are not being violated.
What You Need to Know About Florida Overtime Laws
Does Florida Have Mandatory Overtime Laws?
Across the country, certain states have enacted restrictions on mandatory overtime. However, Florida is not one of them. Even though there are Florida wage and hour laws in place, our state defers to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when it comes to overtime and wage requirements.
Can an Employer Make You Work Overtime Without Notice?
When work gets busy or someone calls out, and an employer needs a replacement for a worker, it is common for people to get a call from the manager asking them to come in. Even if you have already worked your full 40-hour (or more) workweek — if you are a non-exempt employee, it is legal for them to require you to work another shift without any notice. Under federal law, there are no specific time parameters listed in regards to giving notice to employees to work overtime.
How Long Can a Company Make You Work Mandatory Overtime?
If you are not in a field that has inherent restrictions or have other signed contracts that limit mandatory overtime, an employer has the right under the FLSA to require you to work as many overtime hours as they want. It is not uncommon that employers will ask employees to work a total of 50-60 hours per week, but you should still get paid appropriately. Do you have unpaid overtime? We can help.
Who is Exempt from Overtime?
One of the main reasons that employees can be exempt from mandatory overtime is safety concerns. Particular examples of this include positions in healthcare, such as nurses. The rules are in effect to ensure they are not forced to work too many hours within the workweek and potentially put the people that are under their care at risk.
Another type of field that is regulated is over-the-road truck drivers. Due to public safety, these drivers that carry heavy loads need to be limited in the number of hours they are on the road.
Are you a member of a union? If you are unclear of the parameters of your contract in regards to mandatory overtime, check with your union representative or an employee rights lawyer in Florida.
Are you working under an employment contract? You may also have restrictions set up in the legal language of the documents. Being proactive about your rights as an employee is important because employers are always looking out for their best interests. As employee rights attorneys, we are always looking out for yours.
Can You Get Fired for Refusing to Work Overtime in Florida?
If you have legal protections with a union or other type of employment contract, you should not be fired for refusing to work overtime in Florida. If you have these protections and have been terminated, you should contact a wrongful termination lawyer right away.
Since Florida has an “at-will” doctrine, if you do not have protections under a union or employment contract, employers do have the right to fire you if you refuse to work overtime. But if you are fired due to an illegal reason such as discrimination, there are serious legal consequences. Florida workers have many rights under the FLSA, the Civil Rights Act, the ADA, ADEA, and other federal and state laws. You may be able to get your job back, receive remunerations, and qualify for other damages as well.
Have You Been Wronged By Your Employer?
As dedicated employee rights lawyers, Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., leads as legal advocates for workers in multiple industries, and we fight for the rights of employees just like you every day. We have helped thousands of workers across the state with cases that hold their employers accountable for illegal actions.
From retail and hospitality workers to healthcare and IT professionals, hard-working employees are wronged by employers all the time, and we pursue justice to help you get the compensation you deserve so you can get your career back on track. We understand how stressful it can be financially and personally and are here to provide expert legal guidance.
If you have been required to work mandatory overtime, have you been appropriately compensated? Make sure to watch your paychecks closely and go back and check older ones too. Remember, time-and-a-half your regular hourly rate is the standard rate for all non-exempt employees. Employers are always looking at their bottom line and may be avoiding paying you what you are due. There are circumstances when the “time and a half” rule does not apply but employers who utilize these alternative methods (one method is commonly referred to as “Chinese Overtime”) often make errors or misapply the alternate approaches. We can review those often confusing calculations with you.
Have you been wronged by your employer in another way? We handle comprehensive areas of employment law and stand up to powerful employers who violate the
law. Our practice areas include but are not limited to Wrongful Termination, Hostile Work Environment, Family Medical Leave Act, Retaliation, Discrimination, Payment Disputes, EEOC Mediation, Government Investigations, and Fair Credit Reporting Act Violations.
Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today to set up a free, confidential consultation. We are experienced, dedicated employment attorneys, and fight for the rights of workers across the state of Florida with offices in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville, and Sarasota.
Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. has a 10.0 Avvo rating and was selected as one of the 2019 Top Law Firms in Employment Law by U.S. News & World Report.
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.