By: Heath C. Murphy – Wage and Overtime
In recent years, Florida businesses have been very aggressive in cutting back on expenses and costs, sometimes at the expense of their employees. Have you ever received a paycheck which was short hours? What did your boss do to fix the situation? At best employers will add the missing hours to your next check, but some will refuse to rectify the problem at all. Most employees are not aware of their rights to recuperate the regular or overtime hours they worked, but for which they were not paid.
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor regulates The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards that may affect full time and part time workers in private businesses and also State, Federal and local governments. In order to collect overtime wages, you must be a non-exempt employee, meaning you are entitled to receive overtime pay based on your position and duties.
Some jobs are classified as exempt by definition. Outside sales employees are non exempt, by definition. While there are grey areas, most employees can be classified as exempt or non-exempt based upon three basic criteria: how much they are paid; how they are paid; and what kind of work they perform. As a general rule, exempt employees must be paid at least $23,600 per year on a salary (not hourly) basis and must perform exempt job duties. Failure to meet any one of the criteria will result in the employee being considered non exempt and eligible to collect overtime wages.
Obviously, the first two criteria can be easily determined. It is the third prong of the test which examines the type of work performed that causes the most trouble. If your job duties include the following abilities and/or duties you will likely be considered an exempt employee.
• Supervising two or more other employees
• Management is the primary duty of the position
• Ability to hire, fire, train, promote and discipline employees
• Ability to set rates of pay
• Ability to set sales goals
• Planning the work
• Apportioning the work among the employees
• Planning budgets
• Monitoring work for safety, legal and regulatory compliance
However, even if your job description seems to qualify as a non exempt position you may still qualify for overtime pay if your employer does not treat you as a non exempt employee. An example of this would be if your employer “docks” your pay if you miss a day of work. According to FLSA, non-exempt employees must be paid overtime wages at a rate of no less than one and one-half (1 1/2) times their regular rate of pay, after 40 hours of work has been completed within a work week.
An employee looking to file a claim for overtime compensation must do so within a specified time period. There is a statute of limitations in the State of Florida for filing such claims. In Florida, you must file your claim within two years of the date which you were entitled to earn the pay. As an employee, you are eligible to recover wages retroactively two (2) years from the date of filing your claim.
There are certain exceptions to the rules for non-exempt employees with overtime wage claims. If you or someone you know are faced with an uncompensated overtime matter, contact Jones Law Group in St. Petersburg, Florida for a free consultation to determine your rights.
If you feel that your employer has not paid you hours for which your are entitled, you should immediately call an experienced wage and overtime attorney at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your unpaid hours.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707