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Unpaid overtime wages in the hotel industry

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Employment Law -- Employee, Wage & Hour Laws |

Situations where a manager asks their staff to come to work early or stay an extra 15 minutes after their shift is a common occurrence in the hotel industry. However, even if those minutes look like a small amount of time, it can add up. 

Overtime laws in Florida

Hotel employees are typically categorized as nonexempt. This means that they are eligible for overtime pay. Employers must pay  nonexempt workers one and a half times their regular rate for every hour the employee works past the 40-hour workweek.

However, many employers skirt the rules and often commit what’s often referred to as “wage theft.” Wage theft occurs anytime an employer denies its employee the wages they are legally entitled to. Many use subtle tactics that include but are not limited to the following:

  • Requesting hotel staff complete prep work or clean up prior to or after their shift
  • Classifying a worker as an “independent contractor” instead of an “employee”
  • Giving the employee time off in exchange for working overtime hours instead of wages

Sadly, many hotel workers who fall victims to wage theft stay silent. Some do not know their rights or perhaps fear they will be fired for bringing up the issue. Others may worry that getting another job would be difficult if laid off in an at-will setting.

However, employees should know that they have rights. It is illegal for an employer to fire any employee for simply bringing up a wage and hour violation. Those who have questions or concerns should turn to an employment law attorney who can offer advocacy and advice on rights in the workplace.