Keeping Track of Overtime Wages In Florida

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WHO GETS OVERTIME PAY 

      The Fair Labor Standards Act is a Federal Law that requires most employers to pay their employees one and one half times their hourly rate of pay for hours worked in excess of forty (4) hours per work week.   

      Many employees will hear their employer tell them their position is “exempt” or “non-exempt”.  This is a legalese way of indicating whether your position is paid your overtime wages, or whether you do not get your overtime wages.  An exempt employee means that they are exempt from the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and as such, they do not get overtime pay.  On the other hand, a  non-exempt employee, means that they are not exempt from the overtime pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and are entitled to be paid their overtime pay. 

      However, the Fair Labor Standards Act is full of exceptions and exemptions allowing some employers to not pay overtime wages.  For instance, in most instances, teachers and long haul truck drivers, are exempt from being paid overtime.   

      Two of the more relied upon exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act are the “administrative employee” exemption and the “professional employee” exemption.  In order to determine whether a person falls under one of these exemptions, a thorough examination of a persons job responsibilities and duties should be conducted. 

ADMINISTRATIVE EXEMPTION 

      The Administrative Exemption is probably the most popular exemptions employers attempt to use in denying their employees their overtime pay.  In order to qualify for the Administrative Employee Exemption, all of the following conditions must be met: 

      1. The employee must be compensated on salary not less than $455.00 per week;

      2. The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers; and

      3. The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.   

It is this second and third conditions that usually cannot be satisfied by an employer. 

      The Administrative Exemption requires the employee, as one of his/her main and most important duties, to perform work directly related the running or servicing of a business.  Examples of this include: working in the areas of tax, finance, accounting and budgeting, purchasing, advertising, marketing, human resources, computer networking, internet administration and similar activities.  However, these employees must use the exercise of discretion and independent judgment in their jobs.  For instance, in order to exercise discretion and independent judgment, an employee must do more than apply well established techniques, procedures or specific standards set out by the company such as processing orders or communicating with clients. 

PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES EXEMPTION  

      The Professional Employees Exemption is similar to the Administrative Exemption in that it requires: 

      1. The employee must be compensated at a rate of no less than $455.00 per week;

      2. The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advance knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment;

      3. The advanced knowledge must be in the field of science or learning; and

      4. Customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. 

Jobs of this nature are different than work involving routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work.  Jobs that fall under the professional exemption can be jobs in the field of law, medicine, theology, accounting, engineering, architecture, sciences, pharmacy and other jobs that have a recognized professional status.  Again, a detailed investigation of your job duties and responsibilities is required in most instances to determine whether a “professional” employee gets overtime wages in Florida and other states.  For instance, while a Certified Public Accountant may not be entitled to overtime wages in Florida, a Junior Accountant simply preparing tax forms may.  

      If you are entitled to overtime pay, it does not matter whether you are being paid by salary, an hourly rate of pay, or even being paid by commissions.  The vast majority of workers in the United States are entitled to be paid overtime wages for hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours per work week. 

      To fully evaluate whether you are being paid the correct amount of overtime pay, or to figure out why your employer is not paying you Florida overtime wages, contact Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today. The Law Office of Joseph M. Maus and Associates has handled some of the largest Florida overtime wage claims. Attorneys in their office were recently appointed in Federal Court as lead counsel in an Overtime Class Action against a large Fortune 500 Company. Call their offices today for a free consultation or to obtain more information on Florida overtime wages.

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