Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Florida Labor & Employment Lawyer
Helping You Navigate Workplace Issues in FloridaGet in contact with an Intake Specialist Contact Us Now
Florida Labor & Employment Lawyer > Blog > Wage and Hour > $33,000 in Back Wages Recovered On Behalf of More than Two Dozen Florida Workers Denied Overtime Pay

$33,000 in Back Wages Recovered On Behalf of More than Two Dozen Florida Workers Denied Overtime Pay


On January 25th, 2024, the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor confirmed that $33,319 in back wages and liquidated damages had been recovered on behalf of more than two dozen ambulance service workers in Florida. Investigators found that the company—Excelsior Ambulance Service of Lake City—failed to adjust the overtime pay rate of these employees when the state minimum wage increased in September of 2022.

Background: Florida Minimum Wage Increased from $10 to $11 in September 2022 

Florida has a state-based minimum wage that is higher than the federally mandated minimum wage. Employers in Florida must comply with the state’s requirements. In September 2022, Florida saw a significant increase in its minimum wage, rising from $10.00 to $11.00 per hour. State labor regulators note that the increase in the mandatory minimum wage, in part, reflects the increase in the cost-of-living in Florida.

Note: On September 30th, 2023, the state minimum wage jumped again to $12.00 per hour. 

Employer Adjusted Straight-Time Pay, But Not Overtime Pay

 The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay non-exempt workers time-and-a-half when they work overtime hours. Overtime pay is calculated based on a worker’s actual hourly wage. Investigators determined that Excelsior Ambulance Service violated the FLSA by paying incorrect overtime rates.

Following the increase in Florida’s minimum wage from $10.00 to $11.00 per hour in September of 2022, the company continued paying the previous lower rate when calculating overtime wages. In other words, employees that made minimum wage should have been paid $16.50 per hour for overtime as of October of 2022. However, they were only paid a rate of $15.00.

28 workers were affected by the company’s wage and hour violations. As part of the enforcement action taken by the DOL, they received compensation for back pay and liquidated damages. In total, $33,319 will be split by the 28 employees.

 When are Liquidated Damages Awarded in an Unpaid Overtime Claim? 

Liquidated damages can be awarded in unpaid overtime claims that are brought under the federal FLSA. The law states that workers who are denied proper overtime have a right to seek compensation for the full back wages that they should have earned had they been paid the proper amount as mandated by law.

Under federal law, an additional award of liquidated damages—double back pay—is assumed for FLSA violations, including for unpaid overtime and failure to pay a minimum wage. The awarding of liquidated damages is grounded in the principle of deterring employers from violating wage and hour laws and compensating employees for the delay in receiving wages due. Liquidated damages are awarded unless the employer can show that it made a good faith mistake and that it had a reasonable basis to believe that it was in full compliance with the FLSA.

Get Help From a Wage and Hour Attorney in Florida 

Wage and hour cases are complicated—especially when it comes to overtime pay issues. If you or your loved one was denied the full and proper overtime wages that you earned under the FLSA, please do not hesitate to contact a Florida employment lawyer for help with your case.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn