There are different classifications an employer might assign to an employee, such as regular full-time, exempt and non-exempt. These classifications affect how the employer will compensate the employee regarding hours worked and overtime pay.

If you are considered a regular full-time employee, you are expected to work 40 hours each week according to your schedule. What if you’re asked or required to work beyond the usual 40 hours in a week? Both employees and employers should understand Florida’s wage and overtime laws as it applies to you.

Typically, full-time employees are informed in the hiring process, that working more than 40 hours in a week entitles them to overtime pay. If overtime hours are worked, the employer is expected to compensate at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for every hour worked over 40.

However, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime provision, there are exceptions. For example, employees who work as truck drivers, outside salespeople, salaried employees, and management personnel do not qualify for overtime pay.

(See Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act)

Florida’s Overtime Rule

In January 2020, Florida’s updated overtime rule took effect. This modification essentially allowed more employees to be eligible for overtime pay. Previously exempt employees became eligible to earn overtime pay. Also, employers can opt to pay non-discretionary bonuses and other pay, but are limited to a maximum of ten percent of total annual compensation.

Exempt vs. Non-exempt Employees

It’s important to understand the difference between exempt and non-exempt status. If the employer considers an employee exempt, they don’t have to pay him or her overtime, but they can if they choose to do so. Typically, an exempt employee receives a salary and has executive, administrative, or some other professional duties. Non-exempt employees are paid overtime at a rate 1.5 times their regular hourly wage for hours worked over the typical 40.

Break Times & Overtime Pay

Neither Federal law or the Department of Labor requires the employer to provide  breaks during a work shift for employees as it doesn’t pertain to standard working time.

In Florida employers customarily allow employees a 30-minute lunch break when working six to eight-hour shifts.

Employers are not mandated to pay for lunch breaks unless regarded as customary.

Under Florida Labor law, employees working eight-hour shifts are customarily afforded a 30-minute lunch break, including two 15-minute breaks in an eight-hour shift.

Florida Child Labor laws require employees under 18 to take an unpaid 30-minute break for every four hours of work. The law does not apply to 18 year-old employees who are enrolled in high school.

Allowable Daily Work Hours

Depending on how the employer compensates the employee, Florida Labor law dictates the allowable daily work hours. For example, if an employee is paid for specific periods – days, weeks, or even years, the daily work hours are capped at 10 hours, after which the law requires the employer to pay overtime.

For the hourly employee, Florida law doesn’t limit the hours worked in a day, nor does it specify payment of overtime after 40 hours in a week. Federal laws apply in this situation.

Labor laws for both employers and employees can be confusing to understand and navigate. Attorney Derek Usman specializes in employment law. Contact the Usman Firm for a consultation regarding your circumstances

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