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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

Misclassification can lead to lost wages

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2020 | Wage & Hour Laws |

A combination of federal laws, Florida laws and local laws guarantee that employees in Broward County get paid a minimum wage each hour and receive overtime pay after working the equivalent of 40 hours a week.

However, employers do not have to pay minimum wage or overtime if they can classify an employee as exempt. Under federal law, employers can exempt employees who perform certain tasks, which include management and executive functions, or certain administrative or professional roles.

The idea behind these exemptions is employers typically pay these types of employees a salary that is equivalent to a good hourly wage.

Moreover, these employees will typically have variable hours; sometimes it may take 30 hours to get their work done, while other times it may take 50 hours a week. In short, exemption is supposed to “even out” because a person is getting paid to fill a role.

Unfortunately, many Florida employers take advantage of their employees and manipulate the law. For example, they may try to claim that certain employees are managers or administrative employees. Employers then can demand extended work hours that are beyond what would qualify for overtime. In fact, some exempt employees may be working for what amounts to less than minimum wage.

Under federal law, these employees must perform specific job duties and must also have the authority to make important decisions about the business before being exempt. They also must make a minimum amount of salary, at least $684 a week.

In other words, an employer cannot exempt an employee from overtime and minimum wage laws simply by giving the employee a title like “administrator”, “supervisor” or “manager.”

An employee who feels his or her employer has cheated him or her by misclassifying him or her as exempt may have legal options.