Fiercely Advocating for the Wage Rights of Florida Workers
Wage and hour laws govern the wages an employer must pay its employees and the hours for which an employer must compensate its employees. The most well-known wage and hour laws are minimum wage and overtime laws. Other wage and hour laws include child labor laws. Attorneys at BT Law Group can assist with the following areas:
- Unpaid Overtime and Minimum Wage. In Florida, employees and employers are subject to federal, Florida law, and local ordinances. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, for example, employers must pay all non-exempt employees time and one-half of their regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a workweek. An employer who violates this statute could be liable for liquidated, or double, damages. Additionally, under both state and federal law, employees must be paid at least the applicable minimum wage for all hours worked. Furthermore, the law imposes posting and record-keeping requirements on employers.
- Employee Misclassification. Misclassification of employees (for example, exempt versus non-exempt, employee versus independent contractor, and employee versus interns) is governed by both federal and state law. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, there are specific requirements that must be met in order for an employee to be properly classified as exempt from being owed overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a workweek. With respect to classifying workers as independent contractors, the Florida Department of Revenue has oversight authority and can impose significant penalties to businesses who misclassify individuals as independent contractors. Finally, the U.S. Department of Labor has evaluated internship programs under the FLSA and issued guidelines to help employers determine whether interns and students for “for-profit” employers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA.
- Independent Contractor. Florida common law and various statutes have different definitions of an independent contractor. In Florida, the intentional misclassification of a worker is a felony. Additionally, there could be tax consequences by misclassifying a worker.
- Class & Collective Actions. Many of the applicable employment-related statutes permit plaintiffs to proceed on a class or collective basis. For example, in a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees can “opt-in” to the case by signing a consent to join. In a class action, the putative class members are automatically part of class unless that individual opts out.
- Audits. Both federal and state laws control wages paid and hours worked. Even with the best of intentions, employers have difficulty navigating the many laws and regulations, and audits may protect employers from, or minimize, liability.