Written by attorney Joseph Maus

Florida Overtime Laws - Working an Overnight Shift

Many people work hours that are outside of the traditional Monday-to-Friday "9:00 to 5:00" job. People who often do this include health care workers, factory shift workers, and those in the retail or transportation fields as well employees in various other fields. The state of Florida follows the guidelines of the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA). While employers are not required to pay their employees additional wages for overnight work, workers may find that wages can be higher on overnight shifts due to shift differentials. Regardless of the compensation arrangements made between an employee and employer for overnight shifts, non-exempt workers who work more than forty hours in a work week must be paid overtime in Florida. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1937 and remains one of the primary laws dealing with overtime in the U. S. The FLSA was adopted in order to set wage standards and guidelines for employers. The state of Florida requires employers to follow these regulations when it comes to paying overtime for their employees. Overnight shift workers are defined (in general) as those employees that work between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Employees who work three or more hours during this time frame are considered to be overnight workers. These types of workers are increasing due to the prevalence of all-night convenience stores and retail centers, supermarkets, etc. Overnight shift workers often prompt the monitoring and/or enforcement of the FLSA wage laws which mandate that any nonexempt employee be paid one-and-one-half time their regular pay rate for hours worked beyond a forty hours work week. This is due to the common misconception that people who work overnight shifts are always entitled to overtime pay. Consult a Florida overtime attorney if any of the following apply to you and you are a non-exempt employee who works the overnight shift: Combining work weeks - if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you should be paid for overtime in the week that you worked it, even if your employer combines two or more weeks on a paycheck. For example, some employees get paid bi-weekly or semi-monthly which means an employer may refuse to pay overtime for the first week at, for example, 45 hours when the second week is less than 40 hours because they'll combine the two to get a total of 80 hours or less. Meetings or training - if you are required to attend a meeting or do some training outside of work hours, you may be entitled to Florida overtime wages. Unpaid breaks or working through lunch - you may be owed overtime if your employer does not pay you for breaks of more than 5 minutes and less than 20 minutes or if you are required to clock out for lunch, but must complete work-related duties during your lunch break. Pre-approval of overtime - do you need to get approval before working overtime? If your employer will not pay for unapproved overtime even if you work the extra hours, you may be able to get Florida overtime wages. On call - if you are required to be 'on call' and must report to work on short notice, you may be entitled to overtime pay. Also, if you are required to check your company Blackberry or PDA, or answer emails or texts after work hours you may be entitled to overtime pay.. If you think you may be owed Florida overtime pay, don't wait to consult with an attorney! The FLSA only permits an employee to recover up to two years of unpaid back wages (possibly three years if the employer's violation is found to be wilfull). You could be losing valuable time with every day that passes.

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