Unpaid Overtime in Florida
Florida employers find ways to cut costs, often at the expense of their hard-working employees. This focus on the bottom line may end up violating rights and short-changing money owed to an employee. Do you have unpaid overtime? Florida overtime attorneys fight for the rights of people just like you, holding employers accountable by working hard for justice.
At Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., we represent employees in individual and collective unpaid overtime actions. In some cases, mediation helps to resolve the issues. However, we pride ourselves on being trial lawyers and will not hesitate to file a lawsuit if it provides the best outcome.
Florida Unpaid Overtime and the FLSA
More than 130 million American workers are protected (or “covered”) by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Florida law generally tracks the provisions of the FLSA in terms of overtime compensation.
According to the FLSA, employers who require or allow an employee to work overtime must provide “premium pay.” The employee is entitled to receive time-and-a-half pay for every hour over 40 within one workweek. The FLSA does not require extra pay for weekends and holidays unless the hours worked are above 40.
Misclassifying employees as exempt is a common tactic in reducing payroll throughout Florida. This business practice benefits the employer while hurting the employee. Workers who should be hourly employees are put on a salary, freeing up the employer to have a staff member work longer hours without having to pay them. Others offer cash for “working off the clock” and going beyond 40 hours but still do not pay overtime.
Employers will also misclassify employees as independent contractors instead of employees. Does this sound familiar? Domestic workers are also typically covered by the law under the FLSA too. This includes housekeepers, full-time babysitters, and cooks.
Frequently Asked Questions about Overtime
How is Overtime Calculated in Florida?
Need an unpaid overtime calculator? The standard way that you figure out overtime pay in Florida is to take your regular pay rate and multiply it by 1.5. This number would be multiplied by the number of hours you worked above 40 per week. Unpaid overtime can accumulate quickly and amount to a very substantial amount of money. An overtime lawyer fights hard for employee rights to help people receive the money they have rightly earned.
However, some employees who work over 40 hours a week are simply not entitled to overtime pay because they are “exempt” from the overtime provisions of the law. Not every worker in the state has a legal right to overtime.
Who is Exempt From Overtime in Florida?
Certain “white collar” employees in the state of Florida are exempt from legal requirements for overtime. These employees have to pass a three-tiered test to be considered exempt.
- The worker is not paid on an hourly basis — only those getting paid a salary.
- The salary must be not less than $455 per week.
- The primary job responsibilities are professional, administrative, or executive — each of these categories of workers must perform specific duties like supervising employees (at least 2 full-time or the equivalent) and have the power to recommend hiring or firing, or do the hiring or firing themselves.
In short, you must meet a salary test and a duties test to be “exempt” from overtime compensation. Even if you meet the duties test, if you are paid by the hour, you are not exempt and may claim overtime pay.
What is the Statute of Limitations on Unpaid Overtime?
Under the FLSA, the standard statute of limitations is in general two years for the recovery of unpaid overtime. However, if you can establish that there were willful violations, the statute of limitations goes out to three years.
Under Florida law, an employee has four years to file a lawsuit if your employer failed to pay you the minimum wage. If the violation was willful, you have up to five years to file your claim or lawsuit. Consult with an employee rights attorney if you have questions regarding your eligibility under the statute of limitations.
An employee with unpaid overtime can file a private suit and claim an equal amount as liquidated damages, plus legal fees and court costs. To summarize, Florida state law and federal law give employees the right to collect not only the overtime premium for hours worked but also additional penalties in the form of liquidated damages, fees and costs.
If I Signed a Waiver, Can I Still Pursue Unpaid Overtime?
Yes. As a general rule, it is not lawful for employers to make employees sign waivers so they don’t have to pay them minimum wage or overtime. There are only two scenarios that would prevent you from pursuing unpaid overtime or minimum wage. (1) If the waiver was supervised by the Department of Labor or (2) if there was a private lawsuit under court supervision that resolved your claim for unpaid overtime or minimum wage.
Contact An Unpaid Overtime Lawyer in Florida
Overtime attorneys have helped thousands of others just like you. Employers always have strong legal representation and we believe that you should too. We work hard for workplace justice and understand the complex justice system and what it takes to get unpaid overtime.
Our employee rights lawyers enjoy respect from their peers coupled with a track record of success in mediating and litigating employment disputes. Many of Florida’s unpaid overtime claims take the form of collective actions with multiple employees victimized by an employer violating their rights under the FLSA.
Regardless of the complexity, we will take on all aspects of your case, protecting your rights and fighting for the best outcome.
At Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., our employment law attorneys are experienced in wage and hour violations for employees. We tackle any workplace violation aggressively and with you, and your family, in mind. If you have not been paid for overtime hours from an employer contact our office to speak with an unpaid overtime attorney or schedule your free consultation with us today. We have locations throughout Florida for your convenience: