Florida overtime laws

In the state of Florida, nonexempt employees are legally entitled to overtime compensation if they exceed a 40-hour workweek. And businesses, regardless of industry or size, must comply with federal and state overtime laws. If you’re just starting your business or you’re considering hiring people for the first time in Florida, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve outlined everything you should know about Florida overtime laws so that you can run a smooth business and ensure employees receive what they’re due. Keep reading to learn how these specific policies affect you and how to simplify the overtime processes at your business. You can also use the links below to navigate the post.

What are the overtime laws in Florida?

Florida overtime laws closely follow the policies outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. Under the FLSA, eligible employees have the right to receive overtime compensation if they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. The U.S. Department of Labor defines a workweek as seven consecutive days or a period of 168 hours that occurs on any day or time.

Overtime rates are dependent on employees’ regular rate of pay, as they must be paid at time plus one-half their wage. As an example, let’s take a look at the minimum wage in Florida. If a full-time employee receives $8.65 per hour and works 45 hours, their overtime rate would be $12.98 for every additional hour worked. To calculate an employee’s overtime rate, simply multiply their hourly wage by one and a half.

Holiday pay in Florida

There are no laws that require Florida employers to pay more than the minimum wage for time worked during holidays or weekends. Providing additional compensation for working these days is for the employer to decide. However, if an employee’s workweek falls on a holiday or weekend and the number of hours they worked exceeds 40, they must receive overtime pay.

Who qualifies for overtime under Florida law?

Nonexempt employees working in Florida qualify for overtime wages. Nonexempt employees must be paid at least the hourly minimum wage and receive a salary less than $684 per week or $35,568 yearly. You can refer to our guide to employee compensation if you need help setting up salary or hourly rates for your team.

Generally, jobs that fall under the nonexempt category are known as blue-collar professions. These types of careers involve manual labor and are often not confined to a cubicle or office. Some examples include:

  • Cashiers
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Factory attendants
  • Firefighters
  • Gardeners
  • Paramedics
  • Police officers

Individuals working in other positions that require physical labor can also receive overtime pay if they work more than 10 hours. So, if an employee worked 12 hours, they would receive compensation for those two overtime hours.

Who doesn’t qualify for overtime in Florida?

In order to receive a Florida overtime exemption, employees must meet a few requirements, such as:

  • Work in an executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, or computer-related position
  • Earn a salary equal to or greater than $684 per week or $35,568 yearly

If an employee at your business meets both of these conditions, they’re not covered by the FLSA overtime wage laws. These employees can work off the clock, and you won’t have to compensate them for their extra time.

Here are some examples of exempt employees:

  • Executive: CEOs, managers, or supervisors. Workers in this category tend to have decision-making power at their place of employment.
  • Administrative: Human resources representatives, accountants, public relations specialists, and other similar roles. These employees provide additional support for businesses and can make important decisions without reporting to someone else.
  • Professional: Doctors, lawyers, teachers, and dentists. Typically, exempt professional employees are required to have specialized education or training.
  • Outside sales: Salespeople or marketers that make sales, secure contracts, and place orders primarily outside of their place of employment qualify for this exemption.
  • Computer-related: Computer programmers, computer systems analysts, software engineers, or other related positions in the computer field.

To learn more about the differences between these worker classifications, take a look at our nonexempt vs. exempt guide.

Hiring independent contractors in Florida

Independent contractors are not covered by the FLSA, meaning they don’t have to be paid Florida’s minimum wage or time and a half for overtime work. Instead, these types of workers are paid based on the completion of their work. If you hire a freelance writer, for instance, you may pay them for every word they write.

However, a signed agreement between you and the worker is not enough to make them an independent contractor. Before claiming an individual as such, there are certain parameters that need to be met. To be classified as an independent contractor, they must be:

  • Free to perform their duties as they see fit
  • Paid for each individual task or project completed
  • On the job temporarily
  • Using their own equipment, tools, or materials to complete their job

All workers hired at your business must be properly classified in order to avoid potential headaches down the line. The last thing you want is to hire someone as an independent contractor when they’re really an employee that’s protected by the FLSA.

Updates to Florida overtime in 2021

As of January 1, 2021, the minimum wage began increasing with the ultimate goal of reaching $15 per hour by 2026. With the minimum wage steadily rising, the overtime rates for minimum wage workers in Florida will also change annually. Here are what the minimum and overtime pay rates look like for the next few years:

  • January 1, 2021: $8.65 per hour with a $12.98 overtime rate
  • September 30, 2021: $10 per hour with a $15 overtime rate
  • September 30, 2022: $11 per hour with a $16.50 overtime rate
  • September 30, 2023: $12 per hour with an $18 overtime rate
  • September 30, 2024: $13 per hour with a $19.50 overtime rate
  • September 30, 2025: $14 per hour with a $21 overtime rate
  • September 30, 2026: $15 per hour with a $22.50 overtime rate

It’s important to stay on top of Florida employment laws regarding overtime to prevent making mistakes on your employees’ payroll. Not giving them the correct amount of overtime wages could have a devastating outcome on your business. Possible consequences for incorrect overtime compensation include investigations by the Department of Labor, jail time, lawsuits, and fines. You can keep track of payroll with a bimonthly payroll template.

Steps you can take to remain compliant with FLSA overtime policies

Overtime is a complex subject riddled with various legal obligations. That said, it’s easy to make mistakes by forgetting about a requirement or two, or cutting corners to avoid paying overtime wages. To protect your business and assets, however, it’s in your best interest to remain compliant. As mentioned, not following the federal laws specified by the FLSA can lead to employee lawsuits, fines, and jail time.

To help you prevent the above ramifications from occurring and stay compliant with the law, here are a few steps you can take:

  1. Get assistance from a legal advisor: An advisor can help you determine whether or not an employee is exempt or nonexempt based on their job duties.
  2. Review all salaries: Take time to review the salaries of your employees. This is especially important to do whenever the minimum salary threshold changes. If you find that an employee’s salary no longer meets the minimum requirements, you can either increase their earnings or start treating them as nonexempt.
  3. Don’t cut corners: While the prospect of saving money is alluring, it’s not worth doing if it means breaking the law. There are other ways to reduce overtime costs at your business, such as hiring more staff to prevent employees from taking on too much work. You can also use scheduling software to create efficient schedules that allow employees to finish their projects on time.

Overtime regulations and Florida labor laws are there for a reason, and as a business owner, you should do your best to follow them. Not only does compliance help you provide a safe environment where employees can work productively, but it will also keep expensive consequences at bay.

Final thoughts

Having an understanding of the labor laws in your state is crucial, but with so many overtime rules, it’s not always easy. From ensuring a worker is correctly classified as exempt or nonexempt to providing pay stubs that accurately reflect overtime compensation, it can be overwhelming. However, overtime wages don’t have to be a source of frustration or inconvenience.

With QuickBooks Time, you can easily track time, manage overtime, and stay on top of payroll. This intuitive time tracking software can handle complex overtime calculations to save you time and money. It also integrates with your preferred payroll provider to streamline the payroll process.

Are you hiring employees outside of Florida? Check out our guide on overtime pay laws by state to see if any of your overtime requirements have changed.

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