Wage & Hour Disputes Attorney Serving Clients Across Florida
Prior to the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, only about eleven states had addressed the issue of wages and hours for workers in establishing a minimum wage and other requirements. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President in 1932, largely in response to the pain that everyday Americans were feeling in their pocketbooks, the federal government began addressing workplace issues regarding hours worked and wages paid.
The landmark legislation of the FDR administration was the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, which established the workweek at 40 hours, set a minimum wage nationwide standard, and required employers to reimburse workers who toiled beyond a standard 40-hour week – that is, through overtime pay at one-and-a-half times their regular hourly wages.
Enforcement of the FLSA was delegated to the Department of Labor (DOL), and though states could not undercut federal standards, they could present higher minimum wages and more generous overtime rules. Now, Florida surpasses the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which was established in 2009.
The Florida rate is $11 an hour, set to rise to $12 an hour on September 30, 2023, and to $15 an hour in 2026.
Despite federal and state laws and regulations regarding wage-and-hour issues, some employers still try to avoid the established standards by labeling workers as independent contractors or by not recognizing hours legitimately worked as overtime.
If you or a loved one feel you have been denied your rights under federal and state legislation and regulations regarding wage-and-hour issues in St. Petersburg, Tampa, or anywhere in Florida, contact me at the Zwetsch Law Group P.A. for dependable legal assistance.
I am an employment law attorney who has been helping those denied their proper compensation, and also those employers who are facing disputes with employees, for more than 30 years. I am experienced and knowledgeable and can help you resolve your dispute in the best manner possible.
The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, holds employers accountable to proper treatment of their employees when it comes to wages paid and overtime honored.
Many states, including Florida, have enhanced the FLSA’s boundaries and protections. Florida, as noted, is on its way to mandating a $15-an-hour minimum wage, but in terms of overtime, the state tends to the standards of the FLSA – time-and-a-half after 40 hours in a seven-day work period.
Also, the FLSA imposes recordkeeping requirements and child labor standards, also recognized and honored in the Sunshine State. Florida is among several states that allow a lower minimum wage for tipped employees. Tipped employees can be paid a minimum wage of $7.98 an hour, provided that tips they receive bring them up to or above the $11-an-hour state mandate.
Tip pooling is also allowed, which means that all tips are shared equally among the eligible employees, but again, the tips must bring everyone’s minimum wage above $11 an hour. Pooled tips cannot be shared with non-tipped employees, including management and back-of-the-house employees.
Common Wage-and-Hour Disputes
Overtime, or working off the clock, is probably one of the largest areas of wage-and-hour disputes. As indicated above, an employer may ask an employee to do a project at home, after a day in the office, and then not compensate for that work with overtime pay, considering it just another part of the job.
Now, this brings up the question of exempt and non-exempt employees. Generally speaking, employees who are paid by the hour are considered non-exempt, meaning any overtime must be compensated at one-and-a-half times their normal wage. Exempt employees are usually salaried, but that is not the sole requirement. They must also be paid a salary above a certain level and work in an administrative, professional, executive, computer, or outside sales role.
Employee misclassification is another major area of dispute when it comes to wages. Employers may try to classify workers as independent contractors to avoid the requirements of the FLSA and other state and federal statutes.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), in fact, has recently published new guidelines for determining who is and who is not an independent contractor. Basically, an independent contractor is free to set their own schedule and provide services that increase or go beyond what an employee would normally do – that is, they are their own boss.
The FLSA requires that—when employees are paid by commission, whether as the sole source of income or as a supplement to a salary or hourly wage—the commission meet the standards of the required minimum wage plus any overtime work involved.
Commissions are often paid for sales goals or as an incentive for work above and beyond the normal 9-to-5 requirement. However, the FLSA does not address commissions in terms other than minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements. That being said, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the DOL will investigate commission disputes to seek a resolution if a complaint is lodged.
A knowledgeable attorney has the resources to assist in wage and commission diputes to find the best possible solution for your situation.
Wage Dispute Attorney Serving Clients
If you believe your rights under federal and state laws and regulations regarding issues concerning wages, commissions, and overtime have been violated, contact me at the Zwetsch Law Group P.A. for strong representation. I will provide personalized, one-on-one service and fight for your right to what’s owed you. Reach out immediately for a consultation.