What Southwest Florida Hourly Employees Need to Know



Hourly employees in Southwest Florida face a unique set of challenges. Getting fairly compensated for one’s regular hours and overtime hours are two common issues that hourly employees face. Employees in retail, non-tipped food service positions, manual labor and other hourly industries absolutely have to be paid the minimum wage. When hourly employees aren’t properly compensated for their regular working hours and overtime hours, their families suffer. If you aren’t being paid for your overtime hours, or you aren’t being paid minimum wage, you should speak with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible.

Minimum Wage

In Florida, the minimum wage is $7.79 per hour. Even though the federal minimum wage is still at $7.25 an hour, employers in Florida must pay their employees $7.79 per hour. The adjusted minimum wage reflects inflation and the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If and when the federal minimum changes, employers will have to pay their employees the higher of the two.

Overtime Claims

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who work over 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to be paid at least one and a half times their regular rate of pay. Time and a half is the absolute minimum for employees who work overtime hours. Unfortunately, not every employer wants to pay his or her employees their rightly deserved overtime pay. There are a variety of illegal ways that employers get around paying their employees overtime. Listed below are just a few ways crooked employers, managers and business owners will try to skirt paying their hourly employees the rightful overtime wage.

Overtime Violations

  • Reclassifying an employee as a manager, even though that person is actually an employee
  • Paying employees for so-called ‘straight time’ rather than overtime
  • Not counting ‘working lunches’ or certain types of breaks towards overtime
  • Reclassifying an employee as an ‘independent contractor’
  • Requiring or allowing employees to work off the clock
  • Not counting hours that were worked from home towards overtime

Getting Fairly Compensated

If your employer isn’t paying you minimum wage or your rightful overtime pay, you should contact a skilled employment law attorney swiftly to get the ball rolling on your case. It remains to be seen if the federal minimum wage will go to $10.10 an hour or not. Until then, you should be earning at least $7.79 for each hour you work in Southwest Florida.

Legal Disclaimer: The above guidelines are educational in nature and do not create an attorney/client relationship. It is highly recommended that all Florida citizens with employment law issues contact an experienced local Florida employment law attorney to assist them with specific facts and circumstances regarding their labor and employment law matter. If you have been the victim of illegal activities at your workplace, then feel free to contact Attorney Rothman at Weldon & Rothman, PL toll free at (877) 730-5180 or via e-mail at info@weldonrothman.com

Bradley P. Rothman is an experienced Florida employment law attorney who has been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star.  He is a principal member of Weldon & Rothman, PL – a Southwest Florida law firm with offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.

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