Many workers in Florida, and in many other parts of the country, work above and beyond the standard 40-hour work week. In accordance with regulations set by the U.S. Department of Labor, employees who work over 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay. Employers are responsible for keeping track of employee’s hours and paying any overtime owed to workers.Yet, in some cases, company’s may try to avoid paying extra wages to workers, which could end in a hefty fine.
The next time you see a Ford driving down the streets of Fort Lauderdale, you can thank its founder for your current work schedule. Prior to the federal government routinely tracking labor conditions in the U.S., stories (albeit unverifiable) had factory workers in the U.S. working seven days a week for up to 100 hours per week. Henry Ford has the first major name in business to push for the standard 40-hour work week. The Fair Labor Standards Act made that the officially recognized work week schedule in 1940.
If you are an employer or parent of a teen in Florida, then you should make sure to read and understand the hour restrictions for teen employees. Most teenagers start looking for their first job around the age of 16, so knowing the law for this age is a good place to start.
Flexibility and control are among the many perks of being an independent contractor in Florida. However, if your role and responsibilities resemble those of a full-time employee and you lack the independence of a contractor, reclassification may be necessary. This can have significant financial repercussions. At The Law Office of Michelle Cohen Levy, P.A., we have experience reviewing employment contracts to determine whether workplace responsibilities and requirements are overreaching for a contractor role.
A natural tendency that you may engage in when connecting with others in your same line of work in Fort Lauderdale may be to compare your salaries. Large discrepancies in pay between competing companies within the same industry might prompt you to question who sets the market for your services? Many assume that wages are regulated. This may come from some assuming that Florida has a prevailing wage law.
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed to change part of how employees are classified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exempt basically means exempt from the overtime premium rate required by the FLSA, and employees are generally exempt only if they meet a specific exemption defined in the law. Executives, learned professionals, certain administrators, creative professionals and computer workers, and inside salespeople are typically exempt.
When it comes to the "gig economy," one of the more controversial issues is how Uber, Lyft, Amazon and other companies save money by classifying their workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Contract workers aren't eligible for many standard workplace benefits and protections, such as employer-paid payroll taxes, access to workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, and the right to be paid the overtime premium rate. They're not even guaranteed the minimum wage.
Using contract labor to perform core business functions is still controversial, even as companies like Uber, Grubhub and Amazon take advantage of this "gig economy" business model. Traditionally, employers have been required to provide at least some benefits, such as workers' compensation, unemployment insurance and payroll tax payments. Contractors receive none of these and are not protected by some labor laws.
With the rise of the "gig economy," new companies have sometimes opted to classify their workers as independent contractors vs. employees. This immediately cuts their overhead, as contractors are not eligible for overtime or many job-based benefits like workers' compensation and unemployment insurance. They are responsible for paying 100 percent of their payroll taxes, while employees receive half paid by their employer. Hiring independent contractors can save a lot of money for the company by shifting the cost of even basic benefits to the worker.
At the start of this year, Florida’s minimum wage rose to $8.25 per hour—a full $1 above the federal minimum wage. While this may be good news for many people in the workforce, there are some exceptions to the rule. As a young person, you may get the short end of the stick when it comes to compensation.