When Can You Claim Overtime?

When Can You Claim Overtime?

When Can You Claim Overtime?

In general, once you work a specific number of hours during a given period, you should receive overtime pay. However, the rules, standards, and exceptions to this general rule can make the simple question of when you can claim overtime somewhat confusing.

Both Florida and federal law apply to affect worker rights while they work in Florida. Florida labor laws generally defer to federal laws when it comes to many labor laws, including when overtime pay is appropriate. Although Florida has employment laws, they do not have anything specific to overtime pay. Instead, federal labor laws dictate when workers in Florida should receive overtime.

General Overtime Calculations

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides federal standards regarding overtime. These laws apply to federal workers, but they also apply to much of the workforce throughout the United States. Many states also have individual laws regarding overtime pay, but Florida relies exclusively on federal law to determine when paying overtime is appropriate.

The general rule is that an employee must receive overtime pay for each hour that you work over and above 40 hours per week. There is nov limit on the number of hours you can work (in most professions), but your employer must pay you overtime if certain conditions are met.

What Is Overtime Pay?

Overtime pay is your regular hourly wage, plus one-half of your regular hourly pay. For example, if you make $10.00 per hour, your overtime pay would be $15 per hour ($10 + $5). Employers can pay you more than this minimum for overtime, but “time and a half” is the required minimum payment.

There is no requirement for an employer to provide you extra pay for weekends or nights if that time does not count as being over 40 hours during your workweek. There is also no requirement for the employer to pay holiday pay, vacation, sick days, or any other benefit. Those days also do not count toward your 40-hour per week requirement to receive overtime pay.

Some states also have “double time” pay requirements. However, Florida law and federal law do not provide for any situation where an employee is required to be paid double time.

You may be surprised to learn that some workers who are paid by the piece or based salary may also be entitled to overtime pay. An overtime claim lawyer can help explain your rights in these unique situations.

What Is Considered A “Workweek”?

Most people generally consider a workweek as Monday through Sunday. However, if you start your work later in the week, that should not get employers a free pass to avoid paying you overtime. As a result, federal law states that a “workweek” is any regularly recurring period of 168 hours or seven consecutive 24-hour periods.

Employers must decide what the beginning of your workweek may be before you start working. They can also change it, but that change must be permanent and not designed to avoid overtime laws.

Exemptions from Overtime Laws

Not every worker will be entitled to receive overtime pay, even when they work over 40 hours per week. Those employees are generally referred to as “exempt.” When an employee is exempt, he or she can work over 40 hours per week without any entitlement to overtime pay.
These employees must meet certain conditions to be considered “exempt,” and employers will often attempt to meet these conditions so they can avoid paying overtime.

Any employee that is considered a “blue-collar” worker should receive overtime. Only “white collar” workers qualify to be exempt from overtime laws. These employees fall into several categories.

Executive Employees

When you think of “executives,” you might think about CEOs or CFOs. However, the term “executive” under the FLSA is much broader than these high-ranking executives. Executive employees manage a portion of the business, and they must oversee at least two full-time employees (or the equivalent).

These employees also have the authority to hire and terminate workers, or their suggestions are at least considered in hiring and firing decisions. They must also make at least $684 per week in salary.

Administrative Employees

An administrative employee’s primary job is the performance of office or non-manual work. This work must be directly related to management or general business operations.

The administrative assistant to the CEO might be a good example of someone who would be exempt from overtime laws. However, an administrative employee must also have some decision-making authority where they exercise their independent judgment.
Like an executive employee, however, an administrative employee must also make a minimum of $684 per week for their regular salary.

Professional Employees

A professional employee generally falls into two categories: learned professionals and creative professionals.

A learned professional does work that requires advanced knowledge, and everything they do is predominately intellectual. This knowledge will generally require a prolonged course of study, and the field must be in the areas of either science or learning.

A creative professional is a worker whose primary work requires imagination, originality, invention, or creative talent. Artists (sometimes including graphic artists or writers) will often fall into his exemption.
Both of these individuals must also earn a minimum of $684 per week on a salary basis.

Information Technology Employees

These workers will generally include the following professionals:

  • Computer programmer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Information technology specialist
  • Any other similarly skilled worker providing services related to computers

They must also have at least a minimum salary of $684 per week or earn at least $27.63 per hour.

Outside Sales Employees

An outside sales employee has the primary duty of selling goods or services, including physically selling goods or obtaining orders for goods or services. They are regularly away from the employer’s office or place of business on sales calls. While not technically required, outside sales employees often work on a bonus or commission basis.

Get Help Asserting Your Rights to Overtime Pay in Florida

Feldman Legal Group assists employees who qualify for overtime pay but are not receiving the compensation they deserve for their work. If you think you should be getting overtime pay, but your employer is not making payments as they should, contact an employment attorney. We can review your situation and explain your rights to you. Call today to request a case evaluation: 877-946-8293.