Florida overtime laws are basically the same as the federal laws and Florida does not have additional overtime pay laws of its own. The state follows federal labor laws and it does not have any state specific exemptions.
This means that all non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay that is 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 during a workweek.
What about Other Types of Pay?
Besides the requirement for overtime pay under federal law, there are no state overtime laws which require additional pay for work performed on weekends or during holidays. Also, employers are not required to provide pay for vacations, holidays or for any other time where no work was performed.
On top of that, it is up to each individual employer to decide if they want to provide such pay. Also, neither state nor federal law requires payment if an employee shows up to work expecting to work for a certain number of hours but does not get to work their full schedule.
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Who is Eligible for Overtime Pay?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs issues related to overtime in the state of Florida and based on FLSA guidelines, most manual and hourly workers receive overtime pay. Among the occupations covered by overtime laws are emergency, fire and police personnel and also manufacturing employees, nurses and legal staff. These professions often require long hours and multiple shifts.
Who is Exempt from the Overtime Pay Requirements?
Florida does not have any state specific exemptions and federal law exemptions apply. Occupations which are exempt include:
- Executive, administrative and professional employees;
- Municipal, state or federal government employees;
- Farm laborers;
- Certain volunteers, interns and apprentices; and/or
- Taxicab drivers.
What are the Remedies?
Federal law provides remedies for overtime violations in Florida. The statute of limitations is the same as under federal law and employees can make claims of violations for the prior 2 years.
They can also make claims for the prior 3 years if the violation was willful. All unpaid overtime for this period can be recovered and in addition, employees in most cases are also entitled to a “liquidated damages” award which is equal to the amount of unpaid time.
So, if the employee is successful in the lawsuit, they can recover two times the amount of the overtime pay which they are originally entitled to. They can also be awarded attorney’s fees and expenses.
An employer cannot retaliate against an employee for exercising the right to receive minimum wage and overtime pay. Among the rights protected by the State Constitution include the right to:
- File a complaint regarding the employer’s alleged noncompliance with the minimum wage requirements.
- Inform any individual regarding the employer’s alleged noncompliance with the minimum wage requirements.
- Inform any individual of their rights under the State Constitution and to assist them in asserting such rights.
If the employee has not received the minimum wage after notifying the employer and giving the employer 15 days to resolve these disputes, the employee can bring a civil action in a court of law against the employer to recover back wages and also damages and attorney’s fees.
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What about Meal Breaks and Rest Periods?
State law does not require employers to provide breaks to their employees. However, if breaks are given, employers are required to follow the federal rule which states that employees must be paid if they are given breaks of 20 minutes or less.
However, employees do not have to receive pay for meal breaks which are 30 minutes or more as long as they are relieved of all duties.
Should I Contact a Lawyer?
Employees who work in Florida are entitled to overtime pay if their occupation is non-exempt and if they worked extra hours over 40 during a workweek. Florida follows the federal rule for overtime pay and this is 1.5 times the regular rate of pay.
If you feel that your employer is not paying you overtime when you are legally entitled to it, it would be useful to consult with an experienced employment law attorney in Florida who can evaluate your case and advise you on how you can proceed.