Overtime and wage disputes come in all different forms. You often hear it called "wage theft". These types of issues can be very complex and require a skilled attorney with a great deal of knowledge to solve them.
Governing and Standards
Wage and overtime disputes are governed by the Fair Labor Standard Act. This act governs the rules surrounding issues such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor standards. The U.S. Department of Labor has created an entire division designated to governing issues surrounding wage, work hours and overtime.
The division is called WHD, the Wage and Hour Division. The WHD oversees and enforces the Fair Labor Standard Act as it pertains to private employees, federal employees as well as state and local government employees. (It is important to note that special rules do apply to state and government agencies involving things such as fire protection and law enforcement.)
Wage disputes often arise out of issues concerning wage standards. States are allowed to set their own minimum wage standards so long as those standards provide no less protection than the national standard. Effective January 1, 2017, Florida's minimum wage rate will increase from $8.05 per hour to $8.10 per hour. (i.e. those who are covered and who are nonexempt) are entitled to minimum wage. Thus, states are not allowed to pay a worker any less than the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, but companies can pay a worker more than that.
When faced with an issue that involves an overtime and wage dispute, our attorneys will first do the necessary research to determine how it is you are covered under this act. For instance, all employees of certain enterprises with workers engaged in things like interstate commerce or the production of goods are covered by the FLSA. Moreover, domestic workers, day workers, housekeepers and chauffeurs may also be covered under the act.
Determining Overtime Pay
As with wage standards, states are allowed to set their own requirements for overtime pay so long as those requirements provide no less protection than the national standard. Florida currently does not have any laws that govern payment of overtime. Thus, federal overtime laws would apply to a Florida employee having an overtime dispute.
Under the FLSA, workers should receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of the standard 40 hours. Overtime is typically calculated at a rate of at least one and one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked in excess of 40. Computation example is provided in the chart below:
Worker paid @ national min. wage
Total hours worked during the week = 43 hours
40 hours x $7.25 = $290.00
3 hours x $10.87 = $32.61
Worker paid @ Florida min. wage
Total hours worked during the week = 43
40 hours x $8.10 = $324.00
3 hours x $12.15 = $36.45
If an employer fails to pay an employee accurately, a common remedy would be to order an employer to make up the difference of what was paid versus what should have been paid. A two year statute of limitations applies to back wage recovery. Where there was a willful violation, a three year statute of limitations applies.
Wage and overtime disputes can be extremely complex. We believe that everyone deserves to be fairly compensated for the work that they do. If you or someone you know has a wage and/or overtime dispute let us help you. You can call us at (386)777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation.