Yes. As long as you are being properly paid for your overtime, an employer in the State of Florida has the right to make you work 7 days a week. Florida is an “at-will” work state and this means that you can be hired or fired for any reason as long as there is no discrimination as stipulated by the law.
One exception, however, would be whether there was an agreement between you and the employer. Since employees in the State of Florida are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, they are entitled to overtime compensation equaling 1.5 times the normal hourly wage.
The few exceptions include salaried employees and workers on small farms. Whether an employer can make you work seven days a week depends on your agreement when taking the job, especially since the Federal and the state of Florida do not set any rules on the number of hours or days you have to work.
Federal overtime law can be found in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. This act was created to stipulate a minimum standard for how employers in the United States will have to treat their employees.
Currently, this act governs minimum wages, overtime, child labor standards, and recordkeeping rules. States are allowed to offer workers more rights and benefits than what is attainable by the FLSA, but not less. But when it comes to overtime law in Florida, federal law is the law of the state.
Employee Right to Time Off Work in the State of Florida
Coupled with the leave accorded by your employer’s discretionary policies on vacation time, sick leave, personal days, or paid time off (PTO), have it in mind that you may have some right to take time off work for specific reasons under federal and Florida laws. The state of Florida accords additional leave rights, and they may include;
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Florida Laws on Family and Medical Leave
Florida has not passed a state family medical leave law; therefore, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) remains the law of the state.
Note that this law grants qualified employees the right to commence up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to look after a seriously sick family member (spouse, parent, or child), recover from their own life-threatening health conditions, bond with a new child, or take care of certain practical matters that has to do with a family member’s military service.
It also mandates employers to provide employees up to 26 weeks off to look after a family member who had to deal with a serious illness or injury while serving in the military. Note that under the military family leave provision, employees are allowed to take leave to look after a wide array of family members, such as siblings, grandparents, and cousins, as long as they are next of kin to that injured service member.
This regulation also applies to employers with at least 50 employees. Also, note that employees will qualify as long as they have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked 1,250 hours in the 12 months before taking leave.
Florida Laws on Military Leave
This is another federal law to consider especially since Florida labor laws do not cover military leaves. However, the Unformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) used in the State grants qualified employees the right to be reinstated to their jobs after taking up to five years off for service in the U.S. military.
Employers in the State of Florida are restricted from discriminating against employees just because of their military service. In addition, these workers are only allowed to be fired for good cause for a period of up to one year after they return from service, even if they would otherwise work at will.
In Florida, employees who are called to state active duty in the Florida National Guard cannot be penalized for taking time off work. Have it in mind that these employees are entitled to reinstatement once they return from active duty, and they may not be fired without good cause for up to one year after they get back to work.
If a member of the Florida National Guard is receiving COBRA benefits when called to active duty, the time when the employee is covered by TRI-CARE (military health benefits) won’t in any way count against that employee’s COBRA entitlement.
Florida Laws on Time Off for Jury Duty and Voting
Have it in mind that labor laws in the state of Florida grant employees the right to take time off work, without fear of retaliation, for the civic responsibility of serving on a jury. Employers will also not in any way threaten to sack an employee for serving on a jury or appearing for jury duty.
Nevertheless, this time off is unpaid and there are special rules that apply to exempt employees. Under federal law, employers are not allowed to deduct an exempt, salaried employee’s pay for time spent serving on a jury, unless the employee failed to work for the entire week.
Although a good number of states also have laws that protect an employee’s right to take time off work to vote, and a good number of them require paid time off, Florida is not among them.
Florida Laws on Domestic Violence Leave
For employers in the state of Florida with at least 50 employees, they are mandated to provide time off to employees who have been employed for at least three months and are victims of domestic or sexual violence (or have a family or household member who is a victim of domestic or sexual violence). These employees are eligible to take up to three days of leave in 12 months to:
- Seek an injunction
- Obtain legal assistance
- Get medical care or counseling
- Relocate or make the home safer, or
- Seek services from a victims’ rights group, rape crisis center, or shelter.
Howbeit, note that this time off may be paid or unpaid, all at the discretion of the employer.
As a general rule, employers in the State of Florida reserve the right to demand mandatory overtime from their employees. However, if you qualify for overtime pay, which many hourly workers do under federal and Florida wage and hour laws, you will have to get paid adequately (typically time and a half).
Nonetheless, if you have legal protections with a union or other type of employment contract, you may not be fired for refusing to work 7 days a week in Florida. If you have these protections and have been terminated, you must reach out to a wrongful termination lawyer immediately.