New Federal Overtime Guidelines
One of the most common violations of federal and state wage laws in Florida involves denial of adequate overtime payments. Overtime violations can happen in many different ways, including miscalculating the hours an employee worked, misclassifying an employee as exempt from overtime requirements, and more. Whether an overtime violation was intentional or accidental, any employee who has not received full overtime payments has the right to take legal action.
Current Overtime Laws
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that applies to employees in Florida. FLSA requires that certain employees get time-and-a-half overtime payments for working more than 40 hours in a week. This means if their base hourly wage was $10.00 per hour, they should receive $15.00 per hour for any hours worked over 40. The test for whether an employee deserves overtime has two parts:
- First, if they make less than a certain amount, they are automatically entitled to receive overtime.
- Second, if they make above that set amount, they may or may not be exempt from overtime requirements based on their job duties. For example, certain professional, executives, administrative employees, among others may be exempt from overtime.
Currently, the threshold for the first step of the overtime test is $455 per week, or $23,660 annually. Everyone who earns less than that amount is entitled to overtime. Individuals who earn more may not get overtime if their employees classify them as exempt. In addition, anyone who earns more than $100,000 per year is considered under FLSA to be a “highly compensated employee” (HCE) and is not entitled to overtime protections.
New Changes to FLSA
Because the overtime threshold of $23,660 is so low, it does not provide protections to a wide range of employees who earn more than that amount. The Obama Administration has been working for a long time to change FLSA in order to provide overtime protections for a greater number of workers.
Now, starting December 1, 2016, a new overtime rule will go into effect and will be enforced by the Department of Labor (DOL). The rule specifically increases the overtime thresholds as follows:
- Anyone who earns less than $933 per week, or $47,476 annually, will be automatically entitled to overtime;
- The threshold for HCEs will increase to $134,004;
- The thresholds will be reevaluated every three years and updated as needed to stay in line with national percentages.
The new overtime rules are estimated to expand overtime rights to about 4.2 million people throughout the U.S. Many employers may be less than thrilled about the new requirements as they will have to pay certain employees more. However, there are serious penalties for failing to comply with the new FLSA rules.
Call An Experienced Florida Overtime Attorney Today
If you believe your overtime rights are currently being violated, you should not hesitate to discuss your situation with experienced Florida overtime lawyer Robert S. Norell today. We have represented the rights of many employees, so call us at 800-796-0849 for help.