Is it Legal Not to Pay Overtime?

Is it Legal Not to Pay Overtime?

Is it Legal Not to Pay Overtime?

Not paying overtime to employees who are entitled to overtime pay is not legal, but some employers will still try to avoid paying.

If you are an employee entitled to overtime but your employer is finding a reason not to pay what you are owed, you may feel powerless and afraid to take steps to get what you are owed because you worry that it may cost you your job. Fortunately, an employment lawyer can help you fight for the money you are owed and also help protect you from retaliation.

If your employer has denied overtime or earned wages or you have been the victim of time or pay record alteration or manipulation, you can bring a lawsuit for what you are owed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal employment law that addresses minimum wage rates and overtime pay. According to the FLSA, with some exceptions, employees who work over 40 hours per work week are entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their normal hourly pay rate. If you win your case, you may recover not only the overtime your employer owes you and recovery of reasonable attorneys’ fees, but also penalties intended to punish your employer for wage violations. You may be awarded two times the actual overtime wages due.

The lawyers handling overtime claims at Feldman Legal Group in Tampa, FL are here to represent you for overtime and wage and hour violations, as well as for many other employment law issues, such as wrongful termination. Based in our offices in Tampa, we handle overtime wage disputes for clients throughout Florida and Georgia.

Our legal team is available to discuss your situation and determine the best way to help, so call us at (877) 946-8293 today.

Is it a Law to Pay Overtime?

It is a law for employers to pay overtime under the FLSA, but may employers use tactics to avoid paying such as by declaring employees as salaried workers or otherwise labeling them as exempt, when they actually should be covered.

In Florida, the Florida Department of Labor regulates overtime according to FLSA regulations regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. Regulations apply to employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.

Overtime law is based on what is considered to be an employee’s workweek. The FLSA defines this as “a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24-hour periods.” The workweek does not have to coincide with the calendar week, but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day and be different for different employees or groups of employees. Employees are not entitled to overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days.

According to FLSA overtime rules, you are entitled to overtime if you are an hourly worker or salaried worker and you earn less than certain limits. Covered workers include:

  • first responders like police, firefighters, and paramedics
  • paralegals, cashiers and retail store employees
  • practical nurses
  • manual laborers

Some workers are exempted from overtime pay, including:

  • independent contractors
  • primary and secondary school teachers
  • some technology-related workers
  • some workers in the farm/agriculture or transportation industry
  • some seasonal employees, “live in” domestic staff, or babysitters
  • administrators, executives, professionals and outside sales workers earning over the salary limits

If your employer labels you as “exempt” but you are actually supposed to be covered, you have grounds for a lawsuit. If your employer overstates your salary based on improper methods of calculation, you may have a lawsuit as well.

When Must Overtime be Paid

Our lawyers will help you evaluate whether overtime must be paid in your individual situation.

In general, overtime must be paid at a rate of at least one and one-half times the employee’s “regular” rate of pay for each hour worked in a workweek in excess of the maximum allowable in a given type of employment. Generally, the regular rate includes all payments made by the employer to or on behalf of the employee, except for certain statutory exceptions.

However, the situation is not always simple; for example, there are special considerations such as whether you are an hourly worker or paid on a piecemeal basis, as well as how what is the “regular rate” for salaried worker is calculated. As a result, the FLSA has made numerous rulings determining when overtime must be paid. Some recent rulings include:

Final rule effective January 1, 2020. This rule updated the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. It also allows employers to count a portion of certain bonuses/commissions towards meeting the salary level.

Final rule effective January 15, 2020. This rule allows employers to more easily offer perks and benefits to their employees. Changes were made defining what forms of payment, perks, and benefits employers include and exclude in the FLSA’s “time and one-half” calculation when determining overtime rates based on the regular rate of pay. Examples include benefits such as wellness programs, tuition benefits, unused paid leave, employee discounts on retail goods and services, and certain tuition benefits.

Final Rule announced May 18, 2020. This rule withdrew the partial lists of establishments that lack or may have a “retail concept” under the Fair Labor Standards Act Section 7(i). This section provides an exemption from the FLSA’s overtime compensation requirement for certain commissioned employees employed by a retail or service establishment. The rule now treats all establishments equally under the same standards and permits the reevaluation of an industry’s retail nature as developments progress over time.

Final Rule announced May 20, 2020. This rule allows employers to pay bonuses or other incentive-based pay to salaried, nonexempt employees whose hours vary from week to week. It clarifies that payments in addition to the fixed salary are compatible with the use of the fluctuating workweek method under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Call Us for Help Getting Overtime Pay

Our attorneys will determine if you were illegally denied overtime, fight to get you the overtime settlement you deserve, and prevent employers from retaliation.

Under the FLSA and Florida law, you are entitled to overtime and protected if you did not receive the overtime compensation you are owed. If you are an employee who has been unfairly denied overtime, our attorneys can evaluate your situation and wade through the complex laws affecting overtime to determine if your employer acted illegally. If so, we will help you file a civil claim with the Florida state court system or the Department of Labor in the form of an unpaid overtime lawsuit.

We can help by:

  • Gathering facts and evidence to show that you were not fairly paid overtime.
  • Filing all paperwork in a timely manner, presenting evidence, and handling all legal procedures to file an overtime lawsuit or negotiate an out-of-court a settlement.
  • Protecting you from retaliation by your employer, who is legally prohibited from retaliating against you or firing you if you provide notice to them about unfair practices, file a complaint with the Department of Labor (DOL), or pursue a civil suit.

The Feldman Legal Group focuses our practice on standing up for the individual – in employment law claims, workers’ compensation cases, and personal injury law. Our experience, uncommon commitment to results and passion for our clients have earned us recognition as one of the top plaintiff law firms in the region. We are experienced, seasoned litigators who do not shy away from the courtroom.

Mitchell L. Feldman spent over a decade defending insurance companies against all sorts of injury claims and workers’ compensation claims. He now uses that defense background, experience and insight to maximize recovery, whether through settlement or verdict, for every client.

Our lawyers are cross-trained in a broad range of legal areas and have spent time as defense counsel on cases as well. Call us to discuss your case today at (877) 946-8293 so we can determine the best way to help.