In Florida, overtime pay is regulated by a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).­ Under the FLSA, employers are required to pay overtime to any employee who works more than 40 hours in one workweek, unless the employee is exempt.­ Overtime must be paid at the rate of one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked over 40.

Overtime applies on a workweek basis, not on a pay period basis.­ An employee’s workweek is a fixed period consisting of seven consecutive 24-hour periods, and an employer is entitled to establish when his company’s workweek starts and ends.­ While most workweeks start on Monday and end on Sunday, the workweek does not need to coincide with the calendar week, and it can begin on any day and at any hour of the day.­

Different workweeks can be established for different employees or groups of employees.­ But each workweek stands alone; you cannot average 2 or more workweeks together (i.e., if an employee works 20 hours one workweek and 60 hours the next, you cannot avoid paying overtime for the second week by averaging the two workweeks together to say that the employee only worked 40 hours on average per week).

While there is no limit to the number of hours employees older than 16 can work in any one workweek, employees must be paid overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in one workweek.

And, in most circumstances, overtime pay that is earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular payday for the pay period in which the overtime pay was earned.

Please keep in mind that the law does not require “double pay” or extra pay to employees who work at night, on the weekend, or on holidays.­ Extra pay in these circumstances is totally up to the discretion of the employer, as long as employees are paid overtime if they work over 40 hours in one workweek.

Some employees are exempt from receiving overtime pay.­ Some executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees do not have to be paid overtime, as long as they meet certain tests about their job duties and are paid on a salary basis at least $455 per week (this equals $23,660 in salary per year).

Please note:­ There is a common misconception that as long as an employee is being paid on a salary basis, that employee is exempt from overtime.­ Not true.­ Being paid on salary is not enough to exempt an employee from receiving overtime; their specific job duties also have to meet certain requirements.­ And job titles alone do not determine exempt status.

Click here for more information about the specific exemptions from overtime pay and to download Fact Sheet 17A from the United States Department of Labor that explains the requirements that must be met for employees to be exempt from overtime pay.

Click here to find more information on overtime pay and the exemptions from overtime on the United States Department of Labor’s website.