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Florida Exempt Employee Workweek

Posted by Tamara

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an exempt salaried employee is not entitled to overtime–as wages or as time off.

Many Florida exempt employees find this confusing. They assume that if they work more than 40 hours in one week, they have “credit” for time off in the future.

This is an incorrect assumption for two reasons. One, the employee is assuming a standard workweek of 40 hours. Two, the worker is assuming that they are entitled to time off if they work beyond the standard 40 hours.

The fact is there is no Florida law setting a standard workweek for exempt employees. There isn’t a federal law, either. The “standard” is completely up to each company. They have the right to set their own minimum number of hours required for their exempt employees. They also have the right to terminate or discipline any employee who does not comply with the minimum expectations.

What does this mean for the exempt employee in Florida? It means that the company can require employees to work 40, 60, 80 or more hours a week. It means, too, that the company can allow exempt employees to set their own schedule and come and go as they please.

While this may sound unfair to exempt employees, understand that FLSA mandates they be paid full salary no matter how many hours they put in.

For example, Sally is a salesperson. She normally works 40 hours a week. One week during a slowdown in the economy, she goes to work the same number of days, but only works 25 hours. Her employer must pay her full salary for that week.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the exempt employee can work just enough hours to get the job done. Sally’s company is required by law to pay her the same salary for the shorter week, but it can also terminate her for not meeting the company’s performance standard.


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