Florida Overtime Laws

February 20th 2024

Understanding overtime regulations is necessary to guarantee that workers who put in extra time are compensated fairly.

According to federal and Florida labor law, non-exempted workers who surpass a 40-hour workweek receive an overtime rate of 1.5 times their typical pay rate.

This article will provide you with the information to successfully navigate Florida’s overtime regulations, whether you’re an employer aiming for compliance or an employee defending your rights.

This article covers:

Florida Overtime Rates

Overtime in Florida is set at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. 

Since the regular Florida minimum wage is $12.00 per hour, Florida’s overtime minimum wage is $18 per hour (one and a half times the minimum wage).

Overtime Entitlement in Florida 

Not all workers in Florida qualify for overtime compensation. Knowing the federal threshold for overtime laws and figuring out who qualifies for exemptions requires balancing several criteria. 

Employees are often required to fulfill specific requirements related to their job responsibilities and must get paid on a wage basis at a minimum of $684 per week in order to be exempt or non-exempt.

An employee’s exempt status is not based on job titles. Specific work responsibilities and compensation must adhere to all rules set forth by the Department.

Manual laborers are not entitled to overtime pay. These may include working as outside sales representatives, railroad employees, and truck drivers.

Refusing to Work Overtime in Florida

In Florida, employers are allowed to terminate the employee’s contract if they refuse to work overtime. The only exception to this is if the employee has legal rights through a union or another sort of employment contract.

Overtime Pay for Tipped Employees in Florida 

The FLSA defines tipped employees as those who frequently and usually receive above $30 in tips each month. The FLSA allows an employer to claim a tip credit toward its minimum wage requirement for employees who receive tips.

The minimum wage in Florida is $12.00 per hour for all workers and $8.98 for those who receive tips. This indicates that an employer is qualified for a $3.02 per hour “tip credit.” If a tipped employee works over 40 hours in a workweek, they must get overtime compensation.

To calculate Florida’s overtime rate for tipped employees: 

Take the regular wage and multiply it by 1.5 (hourly overtime rate). Minus the tip credit amount from the hourly overtime wage amount and you will get the hourly overtime rate for tipped employees.

It is important to note that the overtime compensation amount will change if the tipped employee’s normal hourly wage exceeds the Florida state minimum.

Overtime for Salaried Employees in Florida 

In the state of Florida, the Fluctuating Workweek Method, also known as “Chinese overtime”, is a way for salaried employees to receive an overtime premium of one-half (0.5) times their regular hourly rate. This means an employee who has a fixed salary and whose work week varies is entitled to this overtime rate.

Calculating Florida Overtime with Commission 

Commission Workers’ Overtime Rate = Half of the normal rate

Normal rate = (total hours times hourly rate) plus the workweek equivalent of the bonus and/or commission, divided by the total hours in the workweek

This means that if you worked 45 hours in a week, your normal rate would be 45 hours multiplied by $12 (minimum wage) which equals $540. Add that amount with a commission of let’s say $40 a week. The amount would then be $580. Divide that amount by the total of 45 hours worked in the week.

That would be $12.88 which will then be halved ($6.44) to get the hourly overtime rate for commissioned employees.

The amount will vary depending on your hourly rate, hours worked, and commission earned.

Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Florida 

In the state of Florida, certain occupations are exempt from overtime pay requirements. These exemptions are outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and include:

  • Executives, administrative, computer employees, and learned and creative professionals are compensated on a salary basis and earned at least $684 per week.
  • Highly compensated employees receive a regular salary and make at least $107,432 annually, equivalently at least $684 weekly.
  • Outside sales employees and employees working varying schedules using the Fluctuating Workweek Method (FWW).

It’s important to note that these exemptions do not apply to “blue-collar” workers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, rescue workers, and similar employees. These employees are entitled to overtime pay as regulated by the FLSA. Download U.S. FLSA Exemption Salary Threshold 2024 Poster now.

Misclassifying Employees in Florida

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lays forth extensive guidelines for minimum wage and overtime pay that apply to businesses across the country. These regulations classify an employee as exempt from overtime and others as non-exempt, which qualifies them for overtime.

This is the reason why some employers in Florida try to avoid the responsibility of providing additional overtime compensation by misclassifying their employees from non-exempt to exempt. 

Employment misclassification is a serious breach of both federal and Florida state law. Employees affected by this violation are entitled to seek fair compensation which may include the back wages that were withheld from them when they were misclassified as exempt from overtime compensation.

Legal Cases Relating to Overtime Compensation in Florida

Below, we present law cases relating to fair overtime compensation for employees in Florida:

1. Employee Denied Default Judgment in FLSA Lawsuit Against Creation Maintenance Inc.

The case of Jackson v. Creation Maintenance Inc., which was filed in 2023, claims that Creation Maintenance Inc. had neglected to pay Travis Jackson, a former employee, overtime compensation as legally required by FLSA. Since there was no response from the company, a ‘default” was entered in the case. This means that because there was no response from one side, entering a default would be the first step in receiving a default judgment (judgment without having to wait for further action from the other party).

That being said, Jackson wanted a default judgment but the court had determined that there was not enough evidence. All that was stated in the complaint is that Creation Maintenance Inc. earned more than $500,000 in revenue and employed more than two people. It did not provide actual proof of misconduct that violates the FLSA.

Since Jackson failed to meet the coverage requirements of FLSA, the court dismissed his complaint but gave him another chance to address this issue at a later date.

Key lessons from this case:

  • This case highlights how complicated overtime laws can be and how an employee may face challenges when they look for fair wages. 
  • It is also important to establish coverage under FLSA to be compensated for overtime. Employees don’t often know their rights or where they may stand when it comes to overtime compensation.
  • A default judgment can sometimes take place if the accused has failed to acknowledge the lawsuit.
2. Saratosa Nursing Staff Agency to Pay 61 Caregivers  $260K in Overtime Back Wages

The US Department of Labor has successfully retrieved $260,221 in unpaid wages for 61 caregivers who are employed by a nurse registry employment agency in Florida called CSI Catalano’s Nurses Registry Inc. (CSI). The corporation failed to pay the mandatory time-and-a-half compensation for overtime hours and instead misclassified the caregivers as independent contractors, therefore only paying them straight-time wages for hours worked.

The FLSA has been deemed to have been broken by the employer. The matter was resolved by a consent decision that also forbade further offenses.

Key lessons from this case:

  • Like any other worker, caregivers deserve the appropriate compensation when it comes to the job they do and the hours they work. Employers are responsible for ensuring fair working conditions to benefit employees and avoid disputes.
  • Employees must ensure that they are aware of their position, job responsibilities as well as rights to certain benefits or overtime compensations.
  • Employee misclassification
3. David Thompson Sues Regions Security Service, Inc. for Manipulation of Regular Rates to Evade Overtime Pay

In Thompson v. Regions Security Service, Inc., security guard, David Thompson issued a lawsuit against Regions Security Service, Inc. for altering his regular wages to avoid abiding by the FLSA overtime compensation regulations. 

When Jackson first started working for Regional Security, his normal wage rate was $13 an hour for a standard 40-hour work week. After seven months of putting in overtime work, the company had decreased his normal rate to only $11.15 an hour. They then stopped arranging overtime hours for Jackson and reverted his normal rate to $13 an hour. The confusion sets in when Jackson is unsure if his normal rate was $13 an hour or $11.15 an hour during the period of his working overtime. 

The court made clear that Jackson’s allegations against Regions Security are supported by the theory of setting a fake wage rate of $11.15 to avoid paying extra for his overtime hours. In the duration that Jackson spent working overtime, his rate was reduced which cause him to earn less than should have been. Additionally, Regions Security conveniently decided to revert to $13 an hour once they stopped arranging overtime hours for Jackson. 

The case has been remanded (sent to the lower courts for further action).

Key lessons from this case:

  • Altering an employee’s wage rate during periods that they work overtime, such as in this case, can be seen as a blatant attempt of violating labor laws by attempting to avoid making overtime payments to employees.
  • Employees need to know their rights when bringing allegations to light concerning their overtime compensation.

Learn more about Florida Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.