The single most frequent wage and hour violation our Florida Unpaid Wage and Overtime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton see involves the failure to pay overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 in a week. Despite the Fair Labor Standards Act and nearly identical Florida state laws, every year employers attempt to cheat workers out of hundreds of millions of dollars in overtime compensation.
This is exactly what happened in a recent case conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Memos Painting & Drywall Inc. – based in Orlando, Florida – will pay $107,890 in back wages to 101 employees for violating the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
WHD investigators found the residential and commercial painting contractor violated the FLSA overtime requirements when the employer paid employees straight-time rates for all hours that they worked. This created overtime violations when employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but the employer did not pay overtime. Memos Painting & Drywall Inc. also failed to maintain accurate payroll records, a violation of the FLSA recordkeeping provision.
“Failing to pay required overtime shorts workers and puts an employer’s law-abiding competitors at an economic disadvantage,” said Wage and Hour District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville, Florida. “The Jacksonville Wage and Hour Division office is available to help employers understand their obligations and avoid violations like those found in this case. We invite anyone with questions to call or visit us for assistance.”
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the WHD, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/whd.
The mission of WHD is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
Employers often use unfair tactics to avoid paying overtime that are not always so obvious on the surface. Overtime pay problems can be less obvious than simply failing to pay time and a half for more than 40 hours of work. Employers may bend the rules to work in their favor and deny workers their right to the money they have earned. Common tactics include:
- Exempt overtime violations
- Overtime comp time programs
- Mandatory overtime violations
- Pre and post-shift off the clock work violations
- Trading vacation pay for comp time
- Overtime bank violations
- Landscaping workers entitled to overtime pay
- Restaurant worker overtime violations
- Independent contractor status violations
Overtime pay, also called “time and a half pay,” is one and a half times an employee’s normal hourly wage. Florida’s overtime minimum wage is $12.69 per hour, one and a half times the regular Florida minimum wage of $8.46 per hour.
Overtime is based on the total number of hours worked in a given 7-day period. It is not extended to weekends or holidays. Overtime is not based on the number of hours worked in a particular day. So even if you work 10 hours on a Tuesday, you are not entitled to overtime just because you worked more than the normal, 8-hour workday. Overtime only applies if you work more than 40 hours during the entire workweek.