201912.03
Effective January 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor "DOL" has updated an FLSA rule which will allow an additional 1.2 million workers to be eligible for overtime. The DOL also announced the new minimum wage increase in the State of Florida.

UPDATE: NEW OVERTIME RULES

Effective January 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced the FLSA rule update which increases the minimum salary requirement to be considered exempt from overtime. The DOL has estimated that this change will allow an additional 1.2 million workers to be eligible for overtime. 


CHANGES TAKING PLACE

Raising the Standard Salary Level:
From $455 per week to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker)

Raising the Total Annual Compensation Requirement for Highly Compensated Employees:
From $100,000 per year to $107,432 per year

Allowing Employers to Use Non-Discretionary Bonuses and Incentive Payments:
Includes commissions, paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level

Revision of the Special Salary Levels for Workers in U.S. Territories and in the Motion Picture Industry:
Revised to $455 and $1,043 respectively


POTENTIAL IMPACT

In recognition of evolving pay practices, this update should encourage:

  • Employers to properly evaluate their exemption analysis to ensure that employees are properly classified according to the update. 
  • Employers to accurately audit work hours under the FLSA, timekeeping, and training policies.

To learn more about how the overtime update could impact you, visit: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime2019/.


UPDATE: MINIMUM WAGE

Effective January 1, 2020, changes to Florida’s minimum wage rate will include a mandatory increase from $8.46 to $8.56, (an increase of 1.12%) exceeding the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. The new minimum wage for tipped employees is increasing to $5.54 per hour in addition to tips, which is calculated as equal to the minimum wage of $8.56 minus the 2003 tip credit of $3.02.

The minimum wage rate is recalculated annually based on the Consumer Price Index, which accounts for the inflation rate and the cost of living formula. You can find the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s minimum wage calculations from previous years here: 

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Florida labor law require all employers in Florida to visibly display an approved Florida minimum wage poster to ensure that all employees are informed of existing and updated federal and Florida labor law and overtime regulations. 

Employees are entitled to be paid the higher state minimum wage if it exceeds the federal rate. The Florida minimum wage will always prevail over the federal rate unless the federal minimum wage is higher than the state rate. The only time that minimum wage does not increase, is if the CPI is negative, indicating deflation. 

An employer may not retaliate against an employee for exercising their right to ensure they are receiving the minimum wage. 

EMPLOYEE RIGHTS PROTECTED BY THE STATE CONSTITUTION

1. Filing a complaint regarding an employer’s alleged noncompliance with lawful minimum wage requirements.

2. Notifying any person about an employer’s alleged noncompliance with lawful minimum wage requirements. 

3. Notifying any person of their potential rights under Section 24, Article X of the State Constitution and Section 448.10, Florida Statutes and assisting them in asserting such rights.

CIVIL ACTION

Employers are subject to a $1,000 fine if found liable for violating minimum wage requirements. If at any point in time you have not received the lawful minimum wage, you must first notify your employer and allow 15 days to resolve any claims for unpaid wages. If claims are not resolved during this 15-day period, you may decide to proceed with a civil action against your employer to recover back wages, adjustments, damages and attorney fees. 

The Department of Labor conducts investigations as a part of its enforcement of the FLSA. All complaints are confidential, including your name and the essence of your complaint. The only exception to this is if it’s required, with your permission, to reveal your identity, in order to pursue a claim. Any supplementary documentation, including copies of pay stubs,  records of worked hours, or any information regarding the pay practices set by your employer will aid in this process. The services the Department of Labor provides are confidential, whether or not you are documented. Lastly, your employer cannot terminate or discriminate against you for filing a complaint with the Department of Labor.

REPRESENTATION BY COUNSEL

We recommend having a consultation with a qualified labor and employment lawyer before you make a decision to file a complaint with the Department of Labor, as a lawyer may recommend an approach to attempt to settle your claim prior to filing a complaint, or help you file the complaint directly with the DOL or in State/ Federal Court. A qualified labor and employment lawyer can also explain to you in detail your statute of limitations deadline and any other important associated issues you should consider.


Additional Resources: