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3 sneaky ways employers cheat on overtime

On Behalf of | Sep 3, 2021 | Employment Law

Overtime can be a welcome opportunity for employees in Florida to earn more money than scheduled hours typically allow. Sadly, some employers will try to find legal loopholes to make the employee put in the extra work, without receiving the benefit of extra pay.

Learning about some of the common methods of trying to prevent overtime pay is in your best interests as an employee. You are legally entitled to extra pay in certain scenarios and your employer should not deny this. 

Averaging your hours over the weeks

One common method employers use to prevent overtime pay is to average the hours that you have worked. This is especially frequent in cases where an employee is paid every two weeks.

For example, an employee may typically work 40 hours per week, but on this occasion, they worked 50 hours. The employer might then choose to schedule the employee for 30 hours the following week, which would bring the average back to 40 hours. Crucially, the law in Florida states that this is not allowed to happen.

Asking you to work off the clock

Employers will often ask their workers to carry out preparatory work before they start their main duties. Additionally, they may ask that an employee runs work-related errands before a shift commences. Naturally, they don’t expect you to clock in until the prep work or errands are done — but that’s illegal. It is important to remember that you can refuse to carry out unpaid work. 

Misclassifying you as an unpaid worker

Independent contractors are typically not eligible for overtime pay because they are not on the payroll of the company. Therefore, if you have been misclassified as an independent contractor, you will forfeit your overtime pay rights. It is vital to understand the distinction between independent contractors and employees to ensure that you are paid for hours worked. 

Understanding your legal rights in the workplace helps to ensure that you are paid correctly. If you feel that you have not been paid for overtime hours, there are options available to you.