Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay?

It just seems that one of the most common questions I get is whether employees are being treated fairly by their employer's pay practices. Joseph Maus specializes in that area so around the Holidays with money on your mind, I thought I would take him up on the opportunity to syndicate his blog piece on an issue vital to your finances.- Norm

Guest Blogger: South Florida Attorney Joseph M. Maus

One of the primary laws dealing with overtime in the U. S. is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which was passed in 1937. The United States adopted the Act in order to set certain wage standards and guidelines for employers. The FLSA requires that employees who work overtime be paid for the additional time they have worked beyond the standard 40 hour work week. In addition to the FLSA, the state of Florida also has a separate set of regulations that employers must follow when it comes to paying overtime for their employees.

-In Florida, overtime wage payments are structured to go along with the U.S. guidelines. Often, though, an employer may ask an employee to do something that seems innocent, such as requesting them to check company email or answer an office-related text message over their lunch break, or maybe staying a few minutes late so they can wrap up a meeting. They may require employees to set up or put away equipment before or after normal working hours or may not pay for time spent on legally mandated breaks. If this has happened to you and you are a non-exempt employee, you may be entitled to an overtime wage claim in Florida. All of this unpaid time can add up, too: if you only work an extra 20-30 minutes a day doing these "extras", that means you are working unpaid for at least two hours a week. Figured at $12.00 an hour over a two year period, your employer could owe you $2,500.00!

-Most "salaried" employees are entitled to an overtime wage payment! In many cases, being paid a salary just means the employee gets paid the same amount of money each week. Your status as an exempt or non-exempt employee is what determines your eligibility for overtime pay.

-Some employees work over a two-week pay period that adds up to an average of forty hours a week (an example would be when you work 35 hours in one week and 45 hours in the second week). It is not allowable for an employer to average your work hours between two weeks to determine overtime pay. In cases like this, you may be entitled to overtime pay for the second week if you are a non-exempt employee.

-Employers can not give you comp time off instead of paying you overtime wages. This is a violation of the FLSA.

-The FLSA and the Florida wage laws prohibit employers from punishing or firing an employee who has asserted his or her rights to overtime wages.The FLSA allows employees two years to file an overtime lawsuit or three years if the employer's violation was willful. Employees and former employees should file a claim with a Florida overtime wage attorney as soon as possible after a suspected violation so the attorney can put the strongest possible case together.

-Even though the FLSA is supposed to provide regulations that provide that all employees are treated fairly, some employers routinely fail to pay their employees overtime pay, even if they do not intentionally try to get out of doing it. The overtime wage laws are confusing and complex - it is easy for employers to either misinterpret the FSLA or try to get around the law to avoid paying their employees a Florida overtime wage

Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus can help if you have a question or need information on Florida overtime wage claims. Contact him at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today for a free consultation. The Law Office of Joseph M. Maus and Associates has handled some of the largest Florida overtime wage claims. Attorneys in their offices were recently appointed in Federal Court as lead counsel in an Overtime Class Action against a large Fortune 500 Company.

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