Can Your Employer Require You to Work Overtime in Florida?

Get legal advice on overtime regulations in Florida from the FairLaw Firm. Know your rights as an employee and understand if your employer can legally require you to work overtime.

Is Mandatory Overtime Legal Under Florida Law?

Most employees appreciate the opportunity to work overtime to make more money. However, when it becomes compulsory and expected of you every single day, it can take a negative toll on your life.

If you are being forced to work overtime, you might be wondering if it is legal and if you can do anything about it. Unfortunately, Florida allows employers to impose overtime work, and there is no limit to the number of hours they can require. Unless your employer is violating employment law, safety regulations, or a contract through mandatory overtime work, you cannot oppose it.

What Does Florida Law Say About Mandatory Overtime?

Florida does not have state mandatory overtime laws, so employers and employees are bound by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, the federal law that regulates and sets the standards for minimum wage and overtime pay.

While the FLSA provides for the right of nonexempt employees to collect overtime wages at time and a half their hourly rate, it does not give them the right to decline or limit overtime work. Employers can require overtime work, and there is no limit to the number of overtime hours they can demand.

In other words, your employer is legally allowed to ask you to work more than 40 hours a week and for as many overtime hours as they want.

Is It Possible to Be Terminated for Declining to Overtime Work in Florida?

Florida is an at-will employment state, which means an employment contract can end at any time and for any reason as long as it is not illegal and without warning. As such, it is generally possible and legal for an employer to fire a worker for refusing to work overtime.

However, the termination might be illegal if the overtime request was inherently illegal. For example, discharging you would be illegal if the overtime work required was motivated by discrimination or it violates your union or employment contract.

When Is Mandatory Overtime Illegal?

There are certain cases in which mandatory overtime becomes illegal, including:

Workplace Discrimination or Retaliation

If your employer makes you work arduous overtime hours for a discriminatory or retaliatory reason, you may be able to bring an employment claim against them. As a Florida employee, you are protected against workplace discrimination and retaliation under a number of federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.

Our workplace discrimination lawyers at FairLaw Firm are happy to assess your case and determine the best course of action to ensure you are well compensated for your damages.

Breach of Contract

If you are hired under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or have an employment contract that includes an overtime exemption or limited hours, your employer is bound to honor it. If your employer violates your employment or union contract, he is in breach of contract and may be held liable.

Failure to Accommodate Disability

Employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation measures under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which can include modified work schedules. Unless working overtime is an essential job function or qualification standard, employees with qualified disabilities under ADA may be able to refuse or reschedule overtime hours if they interfere with their treatment schedules or impact their condition.

Employers may be in violation of ADA if they fail to accommodate requests for overtime rescheduling, limiting, or exemption by their ADA-protected employees unless they can prove the following:

  • Such accommodation constitutes an undue hardship

  • Overtime is an essential job function

Hours of Service Violations

Fatigued and overworked commercial drivers pose a significant risk to themselves and everyone else on the road. This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits the hours of service for interstate passenger and property-carrying drivers. Likewise, nonexempt commercial motor vehicle drivers who only operate within the State of Florida are subject to maximum service hour limits under Fla. Stat. §316.302.

Carriers who require their drivers to work outside the mandated hours of service violate these safety regulations and can face serious penalties.

Speak to your Florida employment attorney if your boss forces you to work unending overtime hours. They might be violating an employment law.

Exempt and Nonexempt Employees’ Overtime Rights

Employers may demand overtime hours from both exempt and nonexempt employees. The only difference is that they have to pay nonexempt employees for their extra hours.

According to sections 13 and 17 of the FLSA, an employee must fall into specific job categories and meet certain salary and job duty requirements to qualify for exemption. The most common categories of exempt employees include executive, administrative, professional, computer, and outside sales employees.

Furthermore, employees in these job categories must earn a minimum of $684 per week on a salary basis to be exempt from receiving overtime pay. Note, however, that this salary requirement does not apply to outside sales employees, teachers, and employees practicing law or medicine.

Employees who do not meet the FLSA exemption requirements are called nonexempt employees and are entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked outside regular work hours. The FLSA mandates that overtime pay be calculated at a rate not less than one and a half times the employee’s regular hourly wage. 

If you are a nonexempt worker, your employer must pay you at the recommended rate for your overtime work. Many employers try to fraudulently avoid paying their employees overtime wages in different ways, including misclassifying them as exempt. If this happens to you, consult a Florida wage and overtime law attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to damages and back pay.

FairLaw Firm Can Help You

Whether you are not properly compensated for your overtime hours as mandated by the FLSA or believe you are illegally forced to work overtime, FairLaw Firm is here for you. We have been standing by Florida employees and helping them enforce their rights for decades. We can help you, too.

Contact us today to book your free case evaluation.