Employers in Florida have an obligation to familiarize themselves with overtime pay regulations. Employers are subject to the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as state law.
The Federal overtime rules state that all non-exempt employees must be paid a rate of 1.5 times their regular wage for any hours worked over the standard 40-hour work-week. These regulations are enforced by the United States Department of Labor (DOL).
What is NOT Covered by Overtime Rules?
For employees over the age of 16, there are no rules limiting the number of hours an employee can work in a single week. There is also no mandatory increase in pay for working on weekends, nights, or holidays unless the worker has exceeded a 40-hour work week.
Understanding Overtime Calculations
Employers may find themselves in violation of overtime rules if they fail to understand the calculation details. Here are some of the most common mistakes employers make.
Improperly Defining the Work Week
The FLSA defines a work week as a regularly-occurring period of seven consecutive 24-hour periods. This does not necessarily have to be a calendar-week. The "week" can start on any day and at any time of the day as long as the 7-day period is consistent from one pay period to the next.
It's important to note that hours worked cannot be averaged over a period of two weeks or more. Doing so will clearly put you in violation of the rules.
Underestimating Base Pay
When calculating overtime pay, you must understand the base rate at which the 1.5 multiplier applies. In many cases, bonus pay is required to be included in this calculation.
Failing to Pay on Time
When overtime applies, the additional wages typically must be paid on the regular payday for the week in which the extra hours were worked.
Failure to Comply
Employers who fail to comply with Federal overtime regulations may be subject to private lawsuits by their employees. In addition, if the DOL discovers violations, they will typically require employers to pay employees back wages owed and offer solutions to remedy the problem.
Employers who have been found to willfully violate overtime rules are subject to a fine of $10,000 and criminal prosecution. If a second offense occurs, imprisonment is possible. Repeated violations can also result in civil monetary penalties that apply individually to each violation.
Certain types of employees are considered exempt from overtime rules. Employers are not required to pay overtime wages for certain exempt positions. Details regarding exemptions can be found on the US Department of Labor website.
The key to avoiding problems with overtime pay is to clearly understand your obligations to your employees. If you aren't sure whether your employees are exempt from overtime provisions or need further clarification regarding the calculation rules, contact your local Wage and Hour District Office for assistance or contact us at Danz & Kronengold, PL. at our website danzlaw.net.