Most employers are looking out for the financial interests of their business. So, they generally want to pay workers exactly what the worker earned, no more, no less.
Still, it is important that employers appropriately compensate workers who work overtime to remain in compliance with federal law.
Florida follows federal overtime laws found in the Fair Labor Standards Act. This means that, with some exceptions, employees who work more than 40 hours in a standard seven-day workweek are owed 1.5 times their normal hourly wages for each hour worked in excess of the 40-hour workweek.
Federal overtime laws apply even if the worker put in overtime that was not approved by the employer. Also, there is no cap on how many overtime hours a worker can put in.
Some workers are exempt
Not all workers are protected under federal overtime laws. They are “exempt.” Employers generally do not need to pay overtime to:
- Most executive, administrative and professional employees
- Most employees who work in jobs involving computer systems or system analysis
- Most outside sales employees
There are other classes of employees not listed here that are also exempt from federal overtime laws. Employers generally do not need to pay these workers overtime.
Penalties for non-compliance
Employers could face penalties for not complying with federal overtime laws. First, they might still be on the hook for paying what the worker is owed in overtime. In addition, they could by fined by the Department of Labor. They might even face a wage-and-hour claim brought by the aggrieved employee.
Sometimes, mistakes are made and an employer accidentally fails to pay what they owe a worker in overtime pay. If so, the employer may be able to pay what is owed retroactively.
Federal overtime laws protect employees. Employers who fail to abide by them can find themselves facing stiff penalties that could harm their business’ bottom line.