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Failure to Pay Overtime Could Lead to Employment Dispute

Employers in Florida are expected to clearly establish wage guidelines for all employees and pay workers in a timely manner. They are also expected to define whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt, which is a status based on a worker's job duties, pay and whether he or she is paid a salary.

It is crucial to know whether an employee is exempt or nonexempt, as this categorization plays a critical role in determining overtime pay. Generally speaking, nonexempt employees in jobs covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act must be paid overtime. 

If a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek, he or she is entitled to receive overtime pay for every additional hour. The FLSA dictates that this overtime pay should be no less than one-and-a-half times the worker's regular rate per hour. An employer who fails to compensate workers for overtime could be held legally responsible and can face some expensive consequences for violating the FLSA, including liquidated damages (generally double the amount determined owed but not paid by the employer) and reasonable attorneys' fees.

However, there are some complications that arise in regards to overtime. Some employers run into problems if they opt for lump-sum overtime payments, rather than calculating rates on a per-hour basis. There can be confusion over length of workweek, and there are many types of jobs that are not eligible for overtime pay, regardless of how long a person works in a week. 

Florida employees and employers alike would be wise to clearly understand their rights and obligations in terms of overtime pay. Employees should not have to go without money they have rightfully earned, and employers should know when and if they will be required to pay overtime.

In the event that an issue regarding overtime pay does arise, speaking with an employment law attorney can help people on either side of the wage dispute understand their rights and what options they have to resolve the matter.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Fact Sheet #23: Overtime Pay Requirements of the FLSA," accessed on Jan. 26, 2015

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