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Unpaid Overtime & Minimum Wages: An Overview

Bober & Bober, P.A. is an employment law firm with an emphasis on claims involving unpaid wages, including unpaid minimum wages and overtime. We are Florida employment attorneys dedicated to aggressively protecting the legal rights of employees to ensure they receive the wages (e.g. Florida minimum wage) they are entitled to under both federal and Florida state labor laws. Many employees who seek our assistance are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which is a national overtime pay law that covers certain employers and employees in all states. Employees can use the overtime calculator to obtain an estimate of the amount of wages they still may be owed under the overtime rules, and may wish to contact us directly by phone, e-mail, or through the free on-line questionnaire.

The federal FLSA generally requires most employers to pay their employees at the rate of time and one-half (1 ½ ) their regular hourly rate when those employees work more than forty (40) hours per week. This may include employees who work forced, mandatory overtime as well as employees who simply work “off the clock.” Generally, if an employer knows or reasonably should know that covered employees are working more than forty (40) hours per week, those employees should probably be paid overtime. Many employers wrongly believe that paying their employees a salary will, in and of itself, make that employee exempt (not-covered) by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Generally, even if a covered employee receives a salary, unless that employee is actually performing certain types of specified job duties, they will be entitled to receive overtime, even if their employer misclassifies them as “exempt.” Other employers try to cheat their workers out of overtime pay by wrongly claiming they are independent contractors when they are actually employees.

Restaurants, and other businesses that employ tipped employees, are some of the biggest violators of federal and state wage laws. Frequently, such businesses will pay waiters no wages and have servers work only for tips from customers. Often, restaurants also illegally force tipped employees to share tips with back-of-the-house employees, such as cooks, dishwashers, or expeditors (expos), or to share tips with managers. Restaurants also often commit overtime wage violations by paying “straight time” at the regular hourly rate for hours worked over forty (40) per week, or they miscalculate the overtime direct wage for tipped employees. Some restaurants even try to pay servers a salary to avoid paying overtime, even though the law requires such employees to be paid by the hour. If your current or former employer committed any of those illegal pay practices or engaged in any other type of wage theft in the past five years, please call a wage and hour attorney at Bober & Bober, P.A. for a free consultation.

Whether you are a tipped employee, need to know if you are owed overtime pay, or have questions about any employment related legal issues, please contact us and a labor law attorney will review your case.