The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is a Federal law that requires employers to pay most employees overtime pay according to the following rule:
Time and one half their regular pay rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek
(Example: $10 per hour should be $15.00 per hr for each our over 40 hrs)
What Amount Of Money Can I Recover?
Under the FLSA, eligible employees not paid overtime in the past may be entitled to:
“Back Wages” for the full amount of overtime pay owed by the employer (Example:, plus;
“Liquidated Damages” or double damages in the same amount as the past overtime wages (Example: Recover $10,000 in overtime then recover an addition $10,000 in Liquidated Damages).
“Attorneys Fees & Costs” – The FLSA requires employers to pay the employee’s fees & costs if the employer loses the lawsuit. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis and seek attorney’s fees and costs from the employer.
OVERTIME MYTH: An employee who is paid a salary is exempt from FLSA overtime
This is false. Just because your employer pays you a salary does not mean that you are not entitled to overtime. While there are some overtime exemptions under the FLSA when an employee is paid a salary, employers often misuse the exemptions and improperly misclassify the employee as “salaried exempt”.
Salaried employees almost never legally pursue their unpaid overtime because they assume that if they are paid a salary, they are not entitled to overtime. If you were paid a salary, but still worked more than 40 hours in any week, you should contact our office for a free overtime consultation. We can quickly analyze your duties to determine if you were misclassified.
There is no substitution for paying employees overtime pay. Often times, Florida employers attempt to avoid paying proper overtime by providing alternate methods of compensation or using accounting tricks to avoid proper compensation. Common overtime violations of the FLSA include:
- Employer refuses to pay employees any overtime as a company policy.
- Improperly classifying employees as “salary exempt”, when, in fact, they should be paid for working overtime.
- Paying “straight time” pay (or continuation of the regular pay rate) instead of time and one half the employee’s regular rate.
- Not compensating employees for “prep time” spent setting up, or time spent finishing up a work day.
- Not compensating employees for “drive time”, or time spent driving to or from the workplace to a job site or from a job site to the workplace.
- Improperly classifying an employee as an “independent contractor” to avoid paying overtime.
- Allowing employees to accumulate additional paid time off, such as vacation time or “Comp time” in place of paying proper overtime.
- Telling employees to clock out of work to avoid exceeding forty hours.
- Substituting periodic bonuses in exchange for paying proper overtime.
OVERTIME MYTH: An employee does not track time cannot recover overtime because it is impossible to determine the number of overtime hours worked
This is FALSE! The FLSA puts the obligation on the employer to track and maintain time. if no time records are kept, then the law permits the employee to estimate the number of overtime hours worked. This most often occurs when an employer improperly designates an employee as salaried exempt and no time records are kept.
Our Florida Employment Attorneys often represent and assist employees who need to recreate their time. Our Florida Discrimination Lawyers can do this with a number of tools, including work schedules, emails, and the employees own testimony.
The Department of Labor requires that all employers maintain accurate records for overtime eligible employees as follow:
- Employee’s full name, address, DOB, gender and occupation
- Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins
- Hours worked each day
- Total hours worked each workweek
- Method by which employee wages are paid (hourly rate, salary amount, commission)
- Regular hourly rate
- Total weekly straight-time earnings
- Total weekly overtime earnings.
- All additions to or deductions from wages
- Total wages paid each pay period
- Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment.
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against any employee for:
- Complaining or protesting to a boss or supervisor because the individual is not being paid proper overtime; or
- Filing lawsuit for unpaid overtime against an employer.
How Long Do I Have To File An Overtime Claim Against My Part Employer?
The FLSA allows an employee to go back as many as 3 years to recover Overtime. Florida employment law sometimes as claims available where an employee can seek wages beyond the 3 year period.
If you feel you are owed unpaid overtime wages, please call us at 954-617-6017 or use the contact form at right to contact Rob Norell for a free consultation regarding your rights.