South Florida FLSA Lawyer: Fair Labor Standards Act Requires Overtime for Piece Rate Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) authorizes piece rate pay. However, the Act also requires the payment of overtime wages for every piece rate hour over 40 worked weekly. 29 U.S.C. § 207(f) (2010).

The overtime rate is determined by establishing the “regular rate of pay,” § 207(e) (2010), which is done by dividing the employee’s total weekly earnings by the number of hours worked. The overtime rate is 50%, or 1/2, of the regular rate of pay.

For example: An employee is paid $400.00 for 50 hours of piece rate work in a week. $400 divided by 50 results in a regular rate of pay of $8.00 per hour, making the overtime rate $4.00. The employee’s pay should have been $440.00 (50 x $8.00 + 10 x $4.00).

Under the FLSA and most state statutes, the “regular rate of pay” can be no less than the Federal or state minimum wage.

Liquidated damages: An employer found liable for failing to pay overtime wages must also pay liquidated damages, which is equal to the amount of overtime wages due. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) (2010). In the example above, the employer would be required to pay a total of $80.00 in overtime and liquidated damages.

Attorney’s fees and costs: An employer found to have violated the FLSA, for unpaid or overtime wages, must pay [some or all of] the employee’s attorney’s fees and costs (associated with bringing the FLSA case). See Section 216(b)

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Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.