Are You Owed Over Time Wages Or Back Pay?
Independent Contractors under Florida Law
Certain individuals fall outside the definition of an “employee” under Florida’s labor laws, meaning that they are not entitled to a minimum wage or overtime pay.
While employers will commonly claim that workers are independent contractors (and not entitled to overtime pay), to be properly classified as such, a worker must be primarily free from control and direction in the performance of duties and customarily engaged in an independent trade, occupation, profession or business. Several factors must be considered in determining if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. An agreement or label is not enough to change an employee to contractor.
Federal & State Laws
Other Wage & Hour Issues
Federally speaking, overtime hours only begin after an employee has worked more than 40 hours in one workweek. Extra hours can’t carry over into the next week: a 50-hour week followed by a 30-hour week still means that an employee should be paid ten hours of overtime.
Florida law does not mandate specific pay periods nor does the Federal law.
While Florida does not specially address deductions, according to the FLSA, deductions for items such as trade tools, damaged goods, uniforms, and shortages cannot bring an employee’s hourly rate below the minimum wage.
Private actions to enforce the state of Florida’s overtime pay laws and minimum wage laws are usually brought to light by employment law firms such as JIMENEZ MAZZITELLI MORDES
The statute of limitations in Florida is the same as Federal law – claims can be made within 2 years, or 3 years if the violation is willful. If you think you may be deprived of your Florida overtime pay rights, be sure to contact us for a free and confidential review of your specific situation and whether or not Florida overtime rules have been violated.
Florida follows the Federal law. Overtime pay of time and a half is required for all non-exempt employees for hours worked over 40 during a workweek.
Florida does not have any state specific exemptions to the overtime pay requirements. Federal law exemptions apply, the most common of which include:
Holidays / Vacation
Florida does not have a state law requiring additional pay for work done on holidays or weekends. Employers are also not required to offer vacation, holiday or other pay for time not worked. These policies are at the discretion of the employer.
Meal Breaks / Rest Periods
Florida does not require an employer to provide breaks to employees. However, if breaks are given, employers must follow the Federal requirements which state that when breaks of 20 minutes or less are given, they must be paid. Meal breaks of 30 minutes or more can be unpaid as long as the employee is relieved of all duties.
Reporting Time Pay
Neither Florida nor the Federal law requires payment if an employee reports to work expecting to work for a certain number of hours but does not get to work their full schedule.
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Statute of Limitations for Overtime Claims in Florida
For overtime claims, the statute of limitations is the same as under Federal Law – claims can be made for the prior 2 years (3 years if the violation is willful).
State Law Remedies / Penalties
The same Federal law remedies for overtime violations are available in Florida. Employees can recover all unpaid overtime for two or sometimes three years prior to the filing of a lawsuit. In almost all cases, they are additionally entitled to an award of “liquidated damages” equal to the amount of the unpaid overtime. This means that a successful employee can recover two times the amount of unpaid overtime. A successful plaintiff can also be awarded attorney’s fees and expenses.
An employer may not retaliate against an employee for exercising his or her right to receive the minimum wage or overtime pay. Rights protected by the State Constitution include the right to:
- File a complaint about an employer’s alleged noncompliance with lawful minimum wage requirements.
- Inform any person about an employer’s alleged noncompliance with lawful minimum wage requirements.
- Inform any person of his or her potential rights under Section 24, Article X of the State Constitution and to assist him or her in asserting such rights.
An employee who has not received the lawful minimum wage after notifying his or her employer and giving the employer 15 days to resolve any claims for unpaid wages may bring a civil action in a court of law against an employer to recover back wages plus damages and attorney’s fees.
Employers may be subject to a $1,000 per violation fine for willful violations.
Employees may also be able to bring a wage claim against an employer based on written or oral employment contracts.
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