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Minimum Wage and Overtime: What Employers Should Know

Entering into an employer-employee relationship carries with it various rules and regulations, especially with respect to compensation and overtime pay.   In other words, failing to pay your employees properly can have serious consequences, such as damage to your company’s reputation, expensive lawsuits and decreased employee morale.  Whether you are a business concerned about compliance or are currently facing minimum wage claims, it is strongly advised that you consult with an experienced Florida employment law attorney.

An Overview of Federal and State Minimum Wage Laws

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which establishes the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements, hourly employees are entitled to receive no less than $7.25 per hour, as of June 24, 2009.  As long as the employee is 16 years of age or older, there is no limit to the number of hours that he or she can work, on either a daily or a weekly basis.  However, the employer must pay the employee one and a half times their normal wage rate for every hour worked over the regular 40-hour workweek.  Despite a few narrow exceptions, the federal minimum wage laws affect most employees, meaning that very few employers are exempt from the wage and overtime requirements as set by FLSA.

However, some states, including Florida, have enacted their own minimum wage laws.  Pursuant to Article X, §24 of the Florida Constitution (known as the Minimum Wage Amendment), employers must pay qualifying employees a minimum of $7.67 per hour, the amount of which is slated to increase in January 2013.  Despite the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, Florida employers are legally required to pay employees the State statutory minimum.  As for overtime, Florida’s requirements mirror that of the federal guidelines stated above.

Failure to comply with the federal and state wage and overtime guidelines can subject employers to stiff fines, penalties, and expensive lawsuits, depending upon the nature of the alleged violation.  The best way to avoid these issues – and to ensure compliance with the applicable laws – is to contact a Fort Lauderdale business employment attorney.

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