·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary


Do Port St. Lucie Employers Break the Law by Declining Employee Overtime Wages?

— November 5, 2021

Employees can recover all unpaid overtime for two, or sometimes three years prior to the filing of a lawsuit.

It may be illegal to decline overtime wages, depending on your work status, and the type of business in which you are employed. If you are a covered, non-exempt employee who has a normal work schedule of 40 hours per week for instance, you should be eligible for time and a half of your wage for the hours worked over that. Talk to a Florida employment law attorney if you feel you are not receiving full compensation for your work efforts.

Federal Labor Standards Act

The federal overtime provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless exempt, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek. The Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days. In the final rule that became effective January 1, 2020, the Department:

  • raised the “standard salary level” from the currently enforced level of $455 per week to $684 per week,
  • raised the total annual compensation requirement for “highly compensated employees” from the currently enforced level of $100,000 per year to $107,432 per year,
  • allows employers to use non-discretionary bonuses and incentive payments paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level, in recognition of evolving pay practices, and
  • revised the special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and the motion picture industry.

Employer exceptions

Image by Victoria Heath, via
Image by Victoria Heath, via

Not all employers are required by law to pay out additional wages for overtime, although exceptions are rare. States have their own laws detailing overtime requirements, and these are often more stringent than their national counterparts. A Florida employment lawyer can explain state labor department guidelines and assist with necessary action. 

There are exceptions to overtime depending on the class of employee such as:

  • Independent contractors.
  • Salaried administrative, executive, or professional workers.
  • Criminal investigators.
  • Small farm workers.
  • Newspaper delivery people and certain newspaper employees.
  • Select computer specialists who earn at least $27.63.
  • Some seasonal employees or staff of cyclical businesses.
  • Seaman.
  • Informal babysitters or caregivers.

Florida follows the Federal labor laws and does not have any state specific exemptions in its Florida overtime rules: all non-exempt employees must be paid overtime pay of time and a half for any hours worked over 40 during a workweek. Federal law exemptions apply in Florida overtime rules and include the same exceptions. 

Legal remedy

The same Federal law remedies for overtime violations are available in Florida. Employees can recover all unpaid overtime for two, or sometimes three years prior to the filing of a lawsuit. Talk to an experienced employment law and know your rights against an employer who may try to retaliate against an employee for exercising his or her right to receive the minimum wage or overtime pay. Rights protected by the State Constitution include the right to:

  1. File a complaint about an employer’s alleged noncompliance with lawful minimum wage requirements.
  2. Inform any person about an employer’s alleged noncompliance with lawful minimum wage requirements.
  3. Inform any person of his or her potential rights under Section 24, Article X of the State Constitution and to assist him or her in asserting such rights.

Hire a lawyer

If you need assistance with a matter involving Florida’s overtime pay laws, contact a knowledgeable employment lawyer at the Law Offices of Stuart M. Address in Port St. Lucie. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations in Florida is the same as Federal law – claims can be made within 2 years, or 3 years if the violation is willful. 


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