Fair Labor Standards Act
HANDLING CLAIMS INVOLVING MINIMUM WAGE, OVERTIME, RECORD KEEPING AND CHILD LABOR STANDARDS
The Fair Labor Standards Act is a United States law affecting employees in the private and public sector. Covered Non-Exempt workers are entitled to minimum wage of not less than $7.25 per hour and overtime pay at a rate of not less than 1 and ½ times the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a work week. In 2017, Florida's minimum wage was increased to $8.10. In Florida the hourly wage for qualified tipped employees is $5.08 which is more than the Federal tipped employee hourly rate of $3.02.
In addition, the FLSA requires employers to display official notices outlining the requirements of the FLSA. Employers must also keep employee time and pay records. In general, the FLSA applies to “employees who are engaged in inter-state commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, who are employed by an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce”.
Generally, an employer who does at least $500,000 of business or gross sales in a year satisfies the commerce requirement of the FLSA and therefore the employer’s workers will be subject to the FLSA protections if none of the exemptions apply. However, there are other types of businesses where the $500,000 threshold does not apply. For example, there are several exemptions that exist to relieve an employer from having to meet these statutory minimum wages, overtime and record keeping requirements. Some of these exceptions are called the white collar exception; applying to professional, administrative and executive employees.
Often an employer first learns of an alleged violation of the FLSA when it is served with a lawsuit from a former or current employee. The FLSA has anti-retaliation provisions so if an employee complains about not receiving overtime or minimum wage, or files suit over overtime or minimum wage, it may be a violation of the law to retaliate against that employee.
Often employers are mistaken about the exemptions that may be applicable to employees, or in some cases employers have deliberately violated the FLSA. In either case, the FLSA can be especially harsh because in addition to recovering any unpaid overtime or minimum wages, the employee may recover an equal amount as liquidated damages. The employee is also entitled to recover costs and attorney’s fees in bringing in the action. In most cases however, a successful employer will be unable to recover his costs and attorney’s fees.
"Employer" is defined under the FLSA to include individuals “acting directly or indirectly in the interest of the employer in relation to an employee”. So an owner or manager may be sued individually.
Even Lady Gaga was famously sued by her former personal assistant, and settled before trial for an undisclosed amount.
When you retain Minerley Fein, P.A. to represent you, we will assess your potential liability for overtime or minimum wages, and evaluate your exposure, if any, so as best to advise and defend you in the matter.
Our goal is to minimize your exposure both for your own costs and attorney’s fees, and the potential costs and attorney’s fees to of the Plaintiff attorney. Many times, it’s the attorney’s fees that are the “tail wagging the dog” in overtime and minimum wage cases. We can also review your current employment practices, to make sure they are in compliance with the requirements of the FLSA and the Florida law.