Wages & Overtime

What Laws Provide Rights to Minimum Wages & Overtime Compensation?

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act sets the federal minimum wage and provides nonexempt employees with the right to overtime compensation. The Florida Constitution was recently amended to raise the minimum wage in Florida. The majority of employees are either paid on an hourly basis for each hour they work or are paid a fixed salary regardless of the number of hours worked. The majority of those employees paid on an hourly basis must be paid time and one half (overtime) for any hours worked over forty (40) in a seven day workweek. Some employees who receive a salary may be entitled to overtime because their employers have misclassified them as being exempt from overtime. An employee paid a salary may be entitled to overtime compensation.

If you have any questions about minimum wages and overtime compensation, call Remer & Georges-Pierre PLLC at 305.416.5000 for a free consultation.

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Wage & Hour Law

Remer & Georges-Pierre, PLLC was ranked by Lexis/Nexis and Martindale Hubble in the Counsel to Counsel March 2005 edition of the Martindale Pulse as Third in filing FLSA class-action lawsuits in the Southern District of Florida.

Employees are usually paid on an hourly basis for each hour worked or are paid a fixed salary regardless of the number of hours worked. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the law that sets the federal minimum wage and provides nonexempt employees with the right to overtime compensation. The FLSA provides that employees receiving certain types of compensation and performing certain types of job duties are exempt (not entitled to receive) from overtime compensation (exempt categories include certain professional, executive, or administrative employees, certain outside salespersons, commissioned retail salespersons, and certain truck drivers).

Under the FLSA, nonexempt employees are entitled to receive one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of forty per workweek. Under the law, many employees who receive a salary are actually entitled to overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of forty weekly. If you believe you are owed any wages, contact us immediately. We will not charge you attorneys’ fees or costs for an overtime claim unless we collect payment from the employer.

Unpaid overtime claims usually stem from:

  • Paying a “salary": If the employer is paying a salary to an employee working over 40 hours a week and the employee is not truly exempt from the overtime requirements, the employer is breaking the law. An employer will sometimes pay a flat rate “salary” ($450 a week, etc.) to an employee working over 40 hours a week and claim the employee is a manager or supervisor. However, if the employee does not regularly supervise two or more people, the employee should normally be paid hourly with overtime pay for hours in excess of forty weekly. The daily duties of an employee will determine whether the employee should be paid overtime. The title of the position the employee holds (supervisor, assistant supervisor, foreman, division manager, etc.) will never determine whether the employee should be paid overtime.
  • Employee working off-the-clock time: If the employer requires their employees to do certain tasks before clocking in or requires the employee to work after clocking out, the employer is breaking the law. Also, if an employer pays an employee for only 40 hours a week “on-the-clock” but instructs the employee to work in excess of 40 hours a week or “off-the-clock,” the employer is breaking the law regardless of whether the time is logged by a punch clock or computer.
  • Unpaid lunches or break Time: If the employee is not completely free from his or her duties during a lunch break, the employer must pay wages to the employee for this lunch break. Also, employers usually must pay employees for breaks lasting 20 minutes or less.
  • Home work: If the employer directs the employee to work from home, all of the time worked at home should be included as weekly hours worked. If the weekly hours worked on the job, including the hours worked at home, total over 40 hours in one week, the employee should be compensated overtime.
  • Averaging two weeks: If an employer combines two weeks of work to determine the amount of wages owed to an employee without paying overtime in any one week, an employer may not be paying overtime compensation properly. If an employee is working more than 40 hours in any one week (7 consecutive days), any hours worked in excess of forty weekly must be paid at time and a half the hourly rate.
  • On-call work: If an employee is informed by his or her employer that the employee must be on-call, the hours the employee actually works for the company must be paid.
  • No overtime approved policy: An employer must pay an employee overtime compensation, if an employer allows an employee to work overtime even if the employer has a policy for no overtime pay without prior approval.

Florida law requires employers to pay minimum wages. In addition to the unpaid minimum wages or overtime compensation, an employee can seek double damages, and is entitled to recover attorneys’ fees and costs if he or she prevails.

We will represent employees with minimum wage or overtime claims. We will also represent clients who were not paid their final paycheck from their employer with no attorneys’ fees or costs charged to the employee unless we collect payment from the employer. Additionally, we will represent employers in wage and hour litigation and help employers to prevent wage and hour litigation with a payroll review.

The federal and state laws providing for minimum wage and overtime compensation prohibit retaliation against employees who assert their rights to unpaid wages.

If you have any questions about overtime or wages, contact us about your legal matter today!