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Florida Overtime Laws: Everything You Need to Know

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Understanding Florida's overtime laws can be challenging for employers. Even minor missteps can lead to costly legal disputes, employee dissatisfaction, and damage to your company's reputation. 

That's why we've created this comprehensive guide – your one-stop resource for understanding and mastering Florida overtime regulations. 

Whether you're a seasoned business owner or just starting, this article will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to compensate your employees fairly and avoid legal pitfalls.

In the following sections, we'll break down the essentials of Florida overtime laws. We’ll cover who's eligible, how overtime is calculated, special considerations for tipped employees, and even strategies for using time-tracking tools like Timeero to simplify compliance.

Important notice for Florida Employers: New federal overtime rules take effect July 1, 2024, increasing the salary threshold for overtime eligibility to $844 per week. This threshold rises to $1,128 per week on January 1, 2025. Review your practices to ensure compliance with federal FLSA regulations.

Understanding Overtime Laws in Florida: Demystifying the Basics

Florida's labor laws cover a wide range of workplace issues, but the rules regarding overtime can be surprisingly complex. 

Unlike some states with specific regulations, Florida's overtime laws are based on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Navigating federal guidelines ensures your business is compliant and your employees are fairly compensated.

What Is the Threshold for Overtime Pay in Florida?

The most fundamental rule of Florida overtime law is that non-exempt employees who work over 40 hours in a single workweek are entitled to overtime pay. 

This pay must be at least 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for each additional hour worked.

Busting the Myth of Daily Overtime

You might have heard about daily overtime limits in Florida. For most employees, this is a myth. 

The FLSA overtime operates on a weekly threshold, meaning the total hours worked within a set 7-day period trigger overtime, not the number of hours worked in a single day. 

However, there is an exception. Manual laborers are considered a special case in Florida, where daily overtime limits might apply. We'll address this later.

What is the Definition of a Workweek?

A workweek isn't necessarily defined as Monday through Friday. Under the FLSA, it's a fixed and recurring 168 hours (7 days x 24 hours). 

Your business is allowed to define its workweek, but it must be consistent and apply to all employees.

How Much Are Florida Employees Paid for Overtime?

timeero overtime and payroll settings
Timeero lets you customize your overtime and payroll settings.

Overtime Laws in Florida: Overtime Rates

An employee's overtime pay rates depend on their regular rate of pay. According to Florida overtime laws, all non-exempt employees must be paid time and one-half of their wage. 

Calculating the overtime pay rate in Florida is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is multiply the employee's hourly wage by one-and-a-half.‍

Since the regular Florida minimum wage is $12.00 per hour, Florida’s overtime minimum wage is $18 per hour.

Is Mandatory Overtime Legal in Florida?

Yes, mandatory overtime is legal in Florida. Employers can require employees to work beyond regular hours, provided they comply with all applicable state and federal wage and hour laws. For example, an employer in Florida can ask its employees to work a second shift. 

In Florida, there's also no limit on how much overtime an employer can require. However, employers must pay overtime premiums for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

While employees can refuse overtime, doing so without a valid reason (like a medical condition) or contractual protection could lead to termination.

Employees covered by a union contract or specific employment agreement might have the right to refuse overtime without facing repercussions.

Employers aren't legally obligated to provide advance notice of overtime work for non-exempt employees.

Who Qualifies for Overtime Under Florida Labor Laws?

Who Is Entitled to Overtime in Florida?

Florida generally follows federal overtime laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), but there are some key distinctions.

Employees Eligible for Overtime

Non-Exempt Employees. This category includes most hourly employees who do not fall under specific exemptions. Non-exempt employees are typically those who are paid hourly and are not in a managerial or supervisory role. Notably, this category includes many first responders like police officers, firefighters, and paramedics, as well as certain skilled professionals like paralegals and practical nurses who may be vulnerable to working extended hours.

Manual Laborers. Employees engaged in manual labor  (construction workers, cashiers, factory attendants, etc.) may be eligible for a daily overtime threshold if they work more than 10 hours in a single day, even if their total weekly hours are under 40.

Some Salaried Employees. Salaried employees earning less than $684 per week (or $35,568 annually) can be eligible for overtime if their job duties don't meet the criteria for exemptions. This includes many salaried positions, such as office managers, retail store managers, and administrative assistants.

Who Is Exempt from Overtime Pay in Florida?

The FLSA exempts certain employees from overtime requirements, including.

Executive, Administrative, and Professional Employees. These positions typically involve managerial duties, independent judgment, and specialized knowledge. To be exempt, they must earn at least $684 per week on a salary basis.

Outside Sales Employees. Employees whose primary duty is making sales outside the office.

Computer Professionals. Employees in specific computer-related roles (e.g., programmers, software engineers).

Highly Compensated Employees. Employees earn at least $107,432 annually, even if their duties don't typically qualify for exemption.

Additional Exemptions

Florida also recognizes additional exemptions, such as agricultural workers, some transportation workers, seasonal amusement or recreational establishment employees, casual babysitters, and some commissioned employees.

But, even if a worker falls under one of these exemptions, it doesn't automatically mean they aren't entitled to overtime. The specific details of their job duties and compensation structure must be carefully evaluated to determine their eligibility.

Contractual and Union Agreements

Employment contracts and union agreements may contain specific provisions regarding overtime. 

These agreements can establish restrictions on mandatory overtime or outline different compensation rates for overtime work. 

PRO TIP: Misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid overtime obligations is illegal and can lead to serious consequences. These consequences can include back pay for unpaid overtime, fines, and even legal action from misclassified employees. Always consult with a legal professional if you have questions about proper classification.

Compensatory Time Off (Comp Time) in Florida

Florida law allows public employers (government agencies) to offer compensatory time off (comp time) instead of overtime pay to eligible employees.

Comp time is accrued at 1.5 hours for every hour of overtime worked. There may be limits on how much comp time an employee can accrue.

However, comp time is not allowed for private sector employees; they must be paid overtime wages.

Can Salaried Employees Get Overtime Pay in Florida? ‍

Employees on salary can also earn overtime pay. However, their employment type determines whether an employee is eligible for overtime in Florida.

Specifically, it comes down to whether they are classified as exempt or non-exempt employees.

What About Independent Contractors in Florida?

Independent contractors in Florida are not entitled to overtime pay under state or federal law. This is because they are not considered employees but self-employed individuals running their businesses. 

Their compensation is typically based on project completion or a pre-negotiated rate, not hours worked.

Businesses must correctly classify workers as either employees or independent contractors. Misclassification can expose businesses to liability for unpaid overtime, taxes, and other benefits they should have provided to employees.

PRO TIP: Florida courts use a multi-factor test to determine if a worker is an independent contractor. Key factors include the business's degree of control over the worker, the worker's investment in their tools and equipment, and the nature of their relationship with the company.

Do Employees Earn Overtime if They Work on a Holiday in Florida?

Florida overtime law does not require employers to pay extra for work done on holidays or weekends. However, if employees work over 40 hours in a workweek that includes a holiday or weekend, they are entitled to overtime pay for those excess hours, calculated at 1.5 times their regular hourly rate.

For example, if an employee works 45 hours a week, including Memorial Day, they are entitled to 5 hours of overtime pay, even though the holiday itself doesn't qualify.

Some employers may offer additional compensation or time off for holiday work as a benefit, but it's not legally mandated.

How Do You Calculate Overtime Pay in Florida?

Calculating overtime pay in Florida is straightforward, but it's important to understand the rules to ensure accurate employee compensation.

Here is what a basic overtime calculation would look like:

  1. Regular Rate of Pay. Determine the employee's regular hourly rate. This may include their base hourly wage plus any non-discretionary bonuses or commissions earned during the workweek.
  2. Overtime Rate. Multiply the regular rate of pay by 1.5. This is the overtime rate you must pay for each overtime hour worked.
  3. Overtime Hours. Identify the number of hours worked beyond 40 in a single workweek.
  4. Overtime Pay. Multiply the overtime hours by the overtime rate. This is the total overtime pay the employee is entitled to.

Let’s take a look at an example. 

An employee earns $15 per hour and works 48 hours a week.

  • Overtime Rate: $15 x 1.5 = $22.50 per hour
  • Overtime Hours: 48 hours - 40 hours = 8 hours
  • Overtime Pay: $22.50 x 8 hours = $180.00

It's important to note that overtime pay is subject to the same taxes as regular wages. For more information on how overtime is taxed, check out our article, “Is Overtime Taxed More?".

Important Note on Breaks: Short breaks of 5-20 minutes are considered part of the employee's workday and must be included when calculating overtime hours. However, bona fide meal breaks (typically 30 minutes or longer, where the employee is relieved of all duties) are not counted as work time. Read our article on Florida break law for more information.

How is Overtime Calculated for Tipped Employees in Florida?

In Florida, overtime pay for tipped employees – those who customarily and regularly receive over $30 per month in tips, such as waitstaff and bartenders – is calculated based on the direct hourly wage paid by their employers after considering the state's tip credit.

Here's how it works:

  1. Overtime Rate.  Florida's minimum wage is multiplied by 1.5 to determine the overtime rate. As of 2024, the minimum wage is $12.00, so the overtime rate would be $18.00.

  2. Tip Credit. Florida allows employers to take a maximum "tip credit" of $3.02 per hour, assuming that tipped employees will earn at least this amount in tips.

  3. Overtime Pay Calculation. Subtract the tip credit from the overtime rate. In this case, $18.00 - $3.02 = $14.98. This is the minimum direct hourly wage employers must pay tipped employees for overtime hours.

Important Note: If a tipped employee's regular hourly wage (including tips) exceeds the state's minimum wage, their overtime pay would be calculated based on their actual hourly rate, not the minimum wage.

Timeero: Your Partner in Florida Overtime Compliance

Whether you're calculating overtime for hourly workers, salaried employees, or tipped staff, precise records are a necessity.

Timeero's got your back. With accurate time tracking, automated calculations, and seamless payroll integration, Timeero equips employers with the tools to overcome the challenges of Florida's overtime regulations.

Key Features of Timeero for Overtime Management

GPS Time Clock

timeero mobile tracking
Using the Timeero mobile app, employees can track their regular and overtime hours easily.

Timeero's mobile app enables employees to clock in and out using their smartphones which automatically captures their location for accurate timekeeping. This minimizes the risk of encountering time theft and discrepancies in recorded hours, significant for overtime calculations.

Overtime Threshold Alerts

Timeero allows you to set up customized alerts that notify managers and employees when a worker approaches or exceeds the 40-hour overtime threshold. This proactive approach helps prevent accidental overtime violations and facilitates better workforce planning.

Automatic Clock-Out

timeero overtime threshold
Timeero allows you to set overtime thresholds and automate clock-outs.

For employees who are not eligible for overtime pay, Timeero can automatically clock them out after their regular shift, preventing unauthorized overtime and ensuring accurate records are reported.

Multiple Overtime Rules

timeero company overtime settings
Create and manage different overtime rules for different employee groups or roles.

Timeero's premium feature allows you to set up diverse overtime rules for employees or groups within your organization. This is particularly useful for businesses with varying pay structures or those employing both exempt and non-exempt workers.

Payroll Integrations

timeero integrations screenshot
Timeero integrates with popular accounting and popular software.

Timeero integrates with popular payroll software providers, including Gusto, Xero, Paychex, ADP, Paylocity, and QuickBooks. This integration eliminates the need for manual data entry, reduces errors, and ensures accurate overtime calculations are reflected in employee paychecks.

Accurate Recordkeeping and Compliance

Timeero's detailed reports provide you with a comprehensive overview of employee hours, including overtime. These records are easily accessible for audits and dispute resolutions, demonstrating your commitment to comply with Florida's labor laws.

Timeero goes beyond overtime management to address other workforce challenges, such as location and mileage tracking, scheduling, and preventing time theft. In our detailed review, discover how Timeero can streamline your operations.

Staying Compliant with Florida Overtime Laws: 10 Practical Steps for Employers

Complying with Florida's overtime laws is essential for protecting your employees' rights and your business's interests. Failing to do so can lead to costly fines, lawsuits, and damage to your reputation. Here are practical steps you can take to ensure compliance:

  1. Understand the Laws. Familiarize yourself with both federal and state overtime regulations. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the foundation, but Florida has some specifics.
  2. Classify Employees Correctly. Accurately determine which employees are exempt and non-exempt. Misclassification can result in significant legal issues.
  3. Maintain Accurate Records. Keep accurate records of employee hours worked, including overtime. This documentation is essential for compliance with the FLSA and can be crucial in the event of an audit or dispute.
  4. Track Hours Diligently. Use Timeero to meticulously track employee hours, including overtime.
  5. Calculate Overtime Pay Correctly. Ensure that overtime is calculated at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
  6. Review Salaries Regularly. Ensure that employee salaries meet minimum wage requirements and that any changes to minimum wage laws are reflected in your payroll.
  7. Optimize Scheduling. Create efficient schedules to minimize the need for overtime when possible.
  8. Communicate Clearly. Communicate your overtime policy to employees, including eligibility, rates, and procedures.
  9. Offer Training. Train managers and supervisors on overtime laws and your company's policies.
  10. Seek Professional Guidance.  If you have any doubts or complex questions, consult with an employment law attorney or HR professional.

Florida Overtime Laws: Final Thoughts

While rooted in federal regulations, Florida's overtime laws come with nuances that employers need to master. Misinterpreting these rules can cause legal troubles, financial penalties, and damage to employee morale.

By prioritizing accurate time tracking, transparent communication, and a commitment to fair compensation, businesses can avoid legal pitfalls and cultivate a positive work environment where employees feel valued and motivated. 

With its comprehensive features, Timeero is an invaluable asset in simplifying overtime management and ensuring compliance.

Florida Overtime Laws FAQ

Is overtime pay mandatory in Florida?

Yes, overtime pay is mandatory in Florida for non-exempt employees. According to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which applies in Florida, employers must pay non-exempt employees at least one and a half times their regular rate for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. 

How does Florida law define overtime for tipped employees?

There are no special overtime pay requirements for tipped workers. If a tipped employee meets the standards of a non-exempt worker, they must be paid at an overtime rate for all hours beyond 40 in a week.

Disclaimer: This article provides general information about Florida overtime laws and Timeero's features. It is not legal advice. If you have specific questions about overtime compliance or need legal guidance, consult with a qualified professional.

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