Chad Barr Law

Wage Dispute and Overtime Law Attorneys in Seminole County

Do you feel your employer owes you money for unpaid overtime hours ?

When you work hard, you expect to be compensated fairly. All too often, companies may try to skirt the law and avoid paying employees for all the time they have worked. Certain national and state employment laws protect your wage and hour rights—your employer may be violating them without you even knowing.

If your job should qualify you for overtime pay or your employer is otherwise denying you compensation, trust The Law Offices of Chad Barr’s wage and hour lawyers to protect your overtime rights. From our Altamonte Springs office, our attorneys help clients across the Orlando area.

If you believe your employer has deprived you of your overtime pay to which your job entitles you, please call The Law Office of Chad Barr, P.A. today at (407) 599-9036 and discuss your complaint with an Orlando wage and hour lawyer, or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.

Orlando Unpaid Overtime / Unpaid Wages Attorney

Unpaid overtime claims are governed by a body of Federal statutes known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA requires that all employees be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked and one half of their regular pay for all hours over forty (40) in a work week. FLSA claims typically arise when employers do the following:

  • Mistakenly or purposefully treating employees as “exempt” from overtime pay under the FLSA. This is commonly referred to as “mis-classification”.
  • Fail to identify, record or compensate “off the clock” hours spent by employees performing compensable, job related activities.

Damages Allowed Under the FLSA

An employee who is not paid the required overtime under the FLSA can file a lawsuit in Federal court, and if successful, the employee can recover the following:

  • The employee can recover their unpaid overtime
  • The employee can recover liquidated damages in an amount equal to the amount of the unpaid overtime
  • Payment of attorney’s fees and costs by the employer.

Statute of Limitations

A 2-year statute of limitations applies to the recovery of unpaid overtime, except in the case of a willful violation, in which case a 3-year statute applies. In other words, unless the violations are willful, unpaid overtime may only be recovered within two years of when the violations occurred.

Wage and hour violations cases involving improper exemptions

The FLSA defines what kinds of jobs can be exempted. However, since classification of jobs is left to employers some companies, whether mistakenly or intentionally, stretch the FLSA’s definitions and misclassify jobs that should be subject to overtime pay.

For example:

Professional Exemption:

If an employee meets the following test, then the employee is not entitled to overtime pay:

  • The employee is compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 a week
  • The employee’s primary duties must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment
  • The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning
  • The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

This exemption is intended for positions in the “learned professions,” such as medicine, law and engineering, and for certain artistic and literary positions, but is often misapplied to highly skilled or technical positions.

Administrative Exemption:

If an employee meets the following test, then the employee is not entitled to overtime pay:

  • The employee is compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 a week
  • The employee’s primary duties are the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers
  • The employee exercises discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance to the business

This exemption is intended office or non-manual work directly related to general business operations which require the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance. Many senior and executive secretaries are mis-classified as administrators.

Executive Exemption:

If an employee meets the following test, then the employee is not entitled to overtime pay:

  • The employee is compensated on a salary basis at a rate not less than $455 a week
  • The employee’s primary duties are managing the business or managing a customarily recognized department of the business
  • The employee customarily and regularly directs the work of least two or more other employees
  • The employee has the authority to hire and fire other employees, or the employee’s suggestion and recommendation as to hiring, firing, advancement, and/or promotion are given weight

Not every supervisor or manager qualifies as an executive for overtime purposes. The classification requires at the very least authority to hire and fire (or significant input to the process), and direct supervision of at least two full-time employees.

Commissioned Sales Employees:

If an employee meets the following test, then the employee is not entitled to overtime pay:

  • The employee is a commissioned sales employee of a retail or service establishment
  • More than half of the employee’s earnings come from commissions, and
  • The employee averages at least one and one-half times the minimum wage for each hour worked
Highly-Compensated Workers

The FLSA contains a special rule for “highly-compensated” workers who are paid total annual compensation of $100,000 or more. A highly compensated employee is not entitled to overtime pay if:

  • The employee earns total annual compensation of $100,000 or more, which includes at least $455 per week paid on a salary basis
  • The employee’s primary duty includes performing office or non-manual work
  • The employee customarily and regularly performs at least one of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee

Other forms of wage and hour violations in the Orlando area

Employers can attempt to deny you full and fair compensation in a variety of ways, including:

  • Independent contractor mis-classification. After reclassifying the employee as an independent contractor the company then claims they are in a contractual rather than an employment relationship, and not subject to FLSA regulations.
  • Off the clock claims. When employers require employees to perform work before they punch in, or after they punch out, but compute pay based on the time cards, they are in effect stealing their employees’ labor.
  • Donning and doffing (pre-shift and post-shift work). This refers to compensating employees for the time required to don protective clothing before beginning work, and to remove (doff) it and clean up afterward. When sophisticated equipment and protective clothing must be donned, doing so is “work” for which compensation is due. Some employers try to avoid counting this work towards the weekly 40-hour overtime threshold.
  • Uncompensated meal breaks. Some employers grant employees uncompensated meal breaks, but may require them to perform tasks (such as covering the phones or answering emails) during that same time.
  • Telecommuting. Unless there is clear and frequent communication between the employer and the telecommuting employee there may be overtime law violations.
  • Unpaid internships. A genuine unpaid internship is intended to be a learning experience for the intern, not a device by which the employer obtains free office help.
  • Fluctuating workweek (“Chinese overtime”). This method of computing overtime pay can be beneficial to employees whose hours have seasonal highs and lows, but it can also be misused to deprive them of the true value of their overtime during busy periods.

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