Let’s face it, getting paid is the most important aspect of any job. No one wants to work for free, and no one wants to see payday come around and not receive compensation that they’ve earned in exchange for their time and effort. This is especially true where one works extra overtime hours at the request or urging of their employer. Both federal and state laws take a very dim view of an employer’s failure to properly compensate employees under the applicable laws that protect employees from such exploitation. Moreover, in a volatile economy employers are more likely to take advantage of an employee who might be more reluctant to assert their rights for proper legal compensation out of fear of losing their job. Both federal and state laws have been enacted to protect employees from this situation. Selecting experienced counsel in a wage dispute can quite often make all the difference in resolving the matter equitably and quickly, as an employer may end up owing more in attorney’s fees and costs than the actual wages in dispute.
Florida’s unpaid wage statute protects employees from employers who choose not to compensate their workers with wages that they have rightfully earned and are entitled to receive. In addition to traditional wages covered by this statute, wages can include commission payments and sometimes earned paid time off or other such benefits.
Both federal and state laws mandate minimum wages that employers must pay their employees. The various federal and state laws differ, however, as to the applicable minimum wage rate itself, and the statute of limitation or period of time for which an employer may be held liable for such unpaid wages. While some minimum wage violations can be resolved quickly, others often require filing suit in order for an employee to obtain their lost wages. Competent counsel is critical in maximizing the best result for an employee who has been the victim of such illegal wage practices; both in the amount recovered and the time expended to resolve the dispute expeditiously.
Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), employers must pay non-exempt employees, one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked per week in excess of 40 hours. While this Federal law does not require overtime pay for work performed on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, such hours worked on these days may trigger an obligation to pay for overtime hours that are incurred as a result.
Whether or not an employee is entitled to receive overtime compensation depends on a number of factors that need to be considered in each specific case. Under the FLSA certain types of employees are considered exempt from the employer’s overtime obligations based upon the type of work they are performing, the authority and control such an employee has in performing their respective work duties and possibly their level of education or background. However, an extremely common scenario where employers are ultimately liable for violations of the FLSA occurs when employers misclassify employees as exempt from the overtime protections by giving their employees “manager” titles and paying such employees a salary when in fact the law dictates that such employees are non-exempt and entitled to receive overtime wages. Whether or not an employee has a right to such overtime wages is very fact specific and requires a proper legal analysis of their specific situation.
Bradley Tobin has helped hundreds of people resolve their wage issues over the last 18 years. Please contact Mr. Tobin at (813) 452-6199 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and get answers to your overtime and other wage law questions from an experienced specialist.