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Talking to wage and hour Florida

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  • Talking to wage and hour Florida

    Does anyone know of a way to talk to a person at Wage and Hour. We have been trying to nail down an exemption for a specific position in our organization which is industry specific and cannot seem to get through to someone who can advise us.

  • #2
    You might try giving the US DOL a call. FL, which has no state DOL of its own, defers to Federal law so the answer will be the same.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      wage and hour

      http://www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm

      This number almost always goes directly to someone, so you wont have to go through the automated messages.

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      • #4
        sevenfortythree / cbg - I should have said in my post that I did try the number from the website and did speak with a person however all they would do would be to refer me to the Tampa District office which is the most frustrating of phone systems in that as soon as the recorded message for the option you chose is finished it disconnects you without letting you go back to another menu or giving you any other options. Thanks for your input

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        • #5
          Which exemption?
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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          • #6
            Talking to Wage and Hour Florida

            DAW,
            It is somewhat complex in that our industry, personal insurance, (not life and health) is also governed by the Florida Department of Financial Services who says a 440 licensed employee must be "salaried", they don't state exempt or non exempt, so we were trying to fit them in the Administrative exemption however according to a Labor Law Atty here locally, they don't fit into that exemption because they are "production workers". Which I assume means that they would have to be salaried non-exempt, although at that point I would just as soon make them hourly. I'd like to know who takes precedence, DOL or FDFS?

            I also have 220 licensed employees that FL Dept of Fin Serv doesn't give any direction as how they are to be paid and had them classified as Salaried exempt plus commission. We determined that they did exercise discretion and judgement as there is no standard for selling such services as auto, home or business insurance, each policy holder has a unique need; the coverage levels as well as the carrier would be researched and then presented to the policy holder with recommendations. However in light of the Atty's opinion we have changed all of our 220 staff to hourly. The issue them becomes overtime rates as they are also paid a commission which we now (I assume) will have to go back and re-calculate in arrears as we pay commissions a month in lag. We still feel they are not "production workers" and would prefer they had remained salaried exempt.

            So you can see, this is not just looking at the exemptions and applying them as straight forward as they are given to us.

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            • #7
              Interesting. I am not sure that "precedence" is really an issue. The feds do not care what FL thinks, period. The feds look to the FLSA law and related regulations only. If the employer or the employee looks to the federal government for remedies or advice, then those remedies/advise will be specific to federal law only.

              I am not a FL expert. I know that there is no FL DOL, meaning if there are FL laws/rules in play, and I will take your word that there are, then FL specific recourse is through FL courts. The problem is that it is not an which government has "precedence". Technically both laws have precedence (assuming that what you say about FL is true). But even if every single FL judge agrees that some employee is Exempt under FL law, if the feds say the employee is not exempt, then the employee just needs to file their wage claims with the feds. Game over, since FL has no authority over the feds (and the feds have no interest in FL law).

              You might need to talk to a local FL labor law attorney ($$$) who knows about these 220/440 rules you discuss. I (mostly) know the federal rules, but I have no knowledge about these FL rules.

              Not your question, but these seem to be strange laws. It is unusual for state laws to be such openly at odds with FLSA. I have never heard of such a thing. CA has a bunch of laws/rules that are much more pro-employee then the federal law/rules, but the rules you mention seem to be much more pro-employer. Which is fine, but state law cannot override federal law, which sort of sounds like "what is the point"? It is like a state law trying to make overtime or Title VII go away. It just means that the employee has to go through the federal system for recourse, and since FL does not have a DOL, that was pretty much a given in most circumstances.
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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