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Answers to the Wage and Hour Quiz Appearing in Last Month’s Column – Private Sector Employers

Answers to the Wage and Hour Quiz Appearing in Last Month’s Column – Private Sector Employers

Date Published: 2008-12-01

This month’s column will provide the answers to the questions presented in last month’s column in the Wage and Hour Quiz.  The questions have been repeated for the reader’s convenience.

1)    If I pay an employee a salary, I do not have to pay that employee overtime for hours worked in excess of forty hours during the work week.

FALSE:  To qualify for the salary-exempt exemption under the act, the individual must be paid both a salary and satisfy the applicable duties test.

2)    If the company closes for a weather emergency for 3 days, I may deduct 3 days pay from a salary-exempt employee’s pay.

FALSE:  Deducting pay from a salary-exempt employee’s salary in this context would be a violation of the salary-basis test.

3)    As long as a non-exempt employee signs an agreement allowing the company to deduct for the cost of items provided to an employee by the company, the company may deduct such amounts from an employee’s pay.

FALSE:  It depends on the nature of the items being provided to the non-exempt employee and whether the deduction will cause the employee’s hourly wage to drop below the required minimum wage.

4)    The U.S. Department of Labor collected more than $220 million in back wages during fiscal year 2007.

TRUE.  Fiscal year 2007 was a record year for the Department of Labor.

5)    It is the employee’s responsibility to maintain accurate time records.

FALSE:  It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that accurate records are kept.

6)    The Fair Labor Standards Act always takes priority over Florida’s Minimum Wage Act.

FALSE:  Florida’s Minimum Wage Act provides for up to 5 years to make a claim for past due wages, which were intentionally and willfully not paid, and the Fair Labor Standards Act imposes a 3 year statute of limitations.

7)    The minimum weekly salary for a salaried-exempt employee is $455 a week.


8)    Paying a salaried-exempt employee additional compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week converts the salaried-exempt employee’s status to non-exempt.

FALSE:  There is no prohibition against paying additional compensation to a salary-exempt employee.

9)    Florida’s minimum wage is tied to the consumers’ price index and is published annually on September 30.

TRUE:  Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $7.21 per hour on January 1, 2009.

10)    The Fair Labor Standards Act is a simple straight forward statute that is easily understood by everyone.


11)    If an employee is paid on a fluctuating work week basis, it is permissible for an employer to pay an employee half of the employee’s regular hourly rate for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours in lieu of 1 ½ times an employee’s regular rate of pay.

TRUE:  However, there are other requirements that must be met before a non-exempt employee may be paid on a fluctuating work week basis.

12)    An employer is required to include all bonuses received by a non-exempt employee during the applicable pay period when determining an employee’s regular rate of hourly pay.

FALSE:  Discretionary bonuses may be excluded when determining a non-exempt employee’s regular hourly rate.

13)    An employer is not required to pay an employee for unauthorized overtime.

FALSE:  Employers are required to pay a non-exempt employee who works unauthorized overtime.  However, the employer is not precluded from taking disciplinary action.

14)    Private sector employers are permitted to give non-exempt employees compensatory time off in lieu of actual pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours during the workweek.

TRUE: However, the exception is very limited.  The limited exception applies if the non-exempt employee takes time off the week immediately following the week in which the employee worked overtime provided such paid time off is equivalent to 1 and ½ hours off for each hour of overtime worked and provided that the two weeks are in the same pay period.

15)    Under Florida’s Minimum Wage Act, an employer must respond to an employee’s written notice of its failure to pay overtime wages within 15 calendar days of receiving the notice.


NOTE:  Reader comments regarding this column, future columns and past columns may be e-mailed to the author’s e-mail address as listed below.  Readers are also welcome to send their ideas regarding topics for future columns.

A note to the reader: This article is intended to provide general information and is not intended to be a substitute for competent legal advice. This article has been reprinted with the permission of Lee Building Industry Association,www.bia.net.

Questions regarding the content of this column or past columns may be e-mailed to Christina Harris Schwinn at christinaschwinn@paveselaw.com.  Ms. Schwinn is an experienced employment law attorney with the Pavese Law Firm, 1833 Hendry Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901; Telephone:  (239) 336-6228; Telecopier:  (239) 332-2243.