Protecting Southwest Florida Businesses’ Interests
Many wage and hours disputes arise from misclassification of workers or misunderstanding about which tasks and time constitutes compensable work. Gunterfirm advises Southwest Florida businesses about these complex wage and hours issues and helps them develop comprehensive policies to correctly classify their workers and work time. When disputes arise, Gunterfirm pursues successful resolutions.
Our attorney is a Florida Board Certified employment and labor law specialist who has devoted his 18-year career to handling every aspect of wage claims, such as:
- Overtime pay
- Minimum wage
- Employee exemptions
- Tipped employees
- Issuance of final paychecks
Wage Policies and Calculations
What is considered work time is not always clear. Even the most conscientious employer can fail to accurately communicate clear workplace policies or misidentify compensable activities.
For example, employers need to lay out clear standards to their employees and train supervisors to comply with:
- Lunchtime: Businesses are not required to provide their workers with paid lunch breaks. However, for the time to be considered non-compensable, the worker must truly have that time off, meaning she or he cannot be on-call or be asked to perform a work-related duty during the meal period.
- Rest breaks: Brief breaks of five to 20 minutes are typical during a standard workday and are generally compensable unless a worker oversteps workplace policy, such as taking longer than authorized or taking an excessive number of breaks.
- Holidays and sick leave: The FLSA does not require businesses to grant paid holidays and sick leave in most cases. However, an employer must honor holidays and sick leave policies of the company and those negotiated with an employee.
- On-call: A business must compensate employees who are on-call on the premises or who are restricted in their allowable activities during their on-call period, but do not generally have to pay workers who must be available to report to work within a specified time frame, but are otherwise free.
- Cell-phones and emails: Modern technology has blurred the line between work and personal time. Employers must be careful about intruding on an employee’s time off through emails and text messages. In some instances, employees are entitled to compensation for time reading and responding to electronic messages.
When Overtime Rules Applies
Different overtime rules apply to managers and hourly employees. The FLSA entitles hourly employees to one and one-half times his or her hourly rate of pay for hours beyond 40 in a workweek. These overtime laws do not apply to managers. For this reason, employers must accurately classify the job title to avoid noncompliance with overtime pay laws.
Consult with a Florida Board Certified Specialist in Employment and Labor Law
Naples overtime attorney Jason Gunter is a Florida Bar Certified employment and labor law specialist with 18 years of experience in wage and hours issues. To learn more about designing successful wage and hour policies and defending your business against unwarranted unpaid wage claims, call Gunterfirm at 239.334.7017 or contact us online to schedule your free first consultation in our Naples and Fort Myers office.
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