Most companies in Florida pay overtime pay to you if you work over the usual 40 hours per week. It’s nice to get that extra money at times that the 5, 10, or even 20 hours of overtime will provide. Overtime is usually also paid at 1.5 or 2 times your normal hourly pay, especially if you work on weekends or through the night. Some employers try to hedge on this a bit, though, and possibly make you work a 10-12 hour shift without overtime benefits. This is where an employment law firm in Florida can help.

On the surface, this may seem like an easy question to answer, but it is legally quite complex. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA (29 U.S.C. § 201 and following), the federal overtime law, your employer can require you to work overtime and CAN fire you if you refuse to do so. The FLSA sets no actual limits on how many hours your employer requires you to work. It does demand, however, that you get paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 per week. The usual rate is time and a half of your usual hourly rate, but it can be more.

The second part of this question is that your employer does NOT have to pay you overtime if you work more than eight hours in any single day. Federal law is only interested in the hours worked per week, and as long as it’s less than 40, they do not have to pay you overtime.

In certain states, such as California and Alaska, these overtime laws differ from the federal law and give you (as the employee) more rights. Florida, unfortunately, is not one of them. Florida does have wage and hour laws in place, but defers to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in its wage and overtime requirements.

Also at times, due to an emergency, an employer may ask you to work overtime without any prior notice. In Florida, even if you worked a full 40-hour week, if you are a non-exempt employee, it is legal for them to have you work another shift with no notice. Standard examples of exempt employees are executives, professionals, and administrative personnel. These are usually (but not always) salaried employees and not hourly.

One of the main reasons that some employers limit overtime is because of safety concerns. Some jobs inherently have safety issues if too many hours are put in per week. Nurses and healthcare workers are good examples of these types of jobs. If you don’t have a job that has these inherent safety restrictions, your employer can ask you to work as many hours per week as they wish.

You begin to see that this question is not as simple as it seems to be. If you have been fired, or even maybe fired for refusing to work overtime, consult with an Orange, Seminole, or Brevard county employment lawyer. You have legal rights as an hourly employee, so let your lawyer protect them.

Can I Say No to Overtime, and Do I Have Legal Protections Against Being Fired?

You do, of course, have the right to say no to overtime. This is especially true if it is without any notice at all. Remember that it is within your boss’s right to fire you, but if your reasons are sound and you’re a good employee, you may not damage your relationship with your boss. Your local business attorney will explain the complex rules to the overtime laws, and they alone are the legal authorities on the laws involved.

If you are accepting a job and feel that overtime will be an issue, have your business lawyer drawer up a contract that sets the framework in writing for your overtime. Also, if you belong to a union, they too may have rules and regulations that work more to your favor. Your lawyer will probably be familiar with the union rules, and how they may protect you even further.

Your Orange County or Daytona Beach employment lawyer will be able to best protect your legal rights.

If I am a Salaried Employee, and Work More than Forty Hours per Week, Can I Get Overtime?

Salaried employees that earn less than $455 per week can be allotted overtime. Salaried employees that earn more than $455 per workweek can receive overtime unless their job duties do earn them an exemption. Under the FLSA guidelines, even salaried employees can be required to work as many hours as the employer wishes.

Therefore, under most circumstances, if your employer requires you to work 60 hours a week, it is legal. You may, however, be entitled to overtime pay for the hours you work each week over 40, but the details of your job, situation, and possibly your contract should be thoroughly discussed with your employment attorney.

The rules and laws for salaried employees involving overtime are varied. To be considered exempt from FLSA, an employee must be paid on a salary basis and must have exempt job duties. As of January 1, 2020, the FLSA salary threshold is $36,568 per year (or $684 per week). The FLSA rules allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid annually to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary threshold.

If you are working long hours away from your family, and are a non-exempt or salaried employee discuss the situation in detail with your employment attorney. Don’t wait for legal trouble. It may be worth thousands of dollars in compensation you’ve earned and deserve.