The Fair Labor Standards Act, also known as the FLSA, is a federal statute which sets forth certain standards to employees in the private and governmental sector. The Fair Labor Standards Act enforces and administers the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Not all employers are deemed to be “covered enterprise / employers” pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Factors as to whether an employee is considered a covered enterprise include if the covered enterprise (1) has an annual gross volume of sales made or business done is not less than $500,000, (2) is engaged in the operation of a hospital, an institution primarily engaged in the care of the sick, the aged, or the mentally ill who reside on the premises; a school for mentally or physically disabled or gifted children; a preschool, an elementary or secondary school, or an institution of higher education (whether operated for profit or not for profit); or (3) is an activity of a public agency.
Further, employees working for entities which are not deemed covered enterprises under the Fair Labor Standards Act may still be subjected to the FLSA provisions if they are engaged in interstate commerce, in the production of goods for interstate commerce, or closely related to any process or occupation which is essential to the production of goods for interstate commerce. Indeed, an employee is covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act in certain instances if the workers are engaged in interstate commerce, are producing goods for interstate commerce, or otherwise participating in the handling, selling, or working on goods or materials which have been moved in or produced for interstate commerce.
Common Categories of the Fair Labor Standards Act
The commonly-known main categories of the Fair Labor Standards Act are the following.
1.) Hours Worked
Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act “hours worked” generally includes all of the time which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace.
2.) Minimum Wage
The federal minimum wage is $7.25. Employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to the aforementioned minimum wage.
It is important to note that an employer cannot make deductions from wages to the extent that the deductions reduce the employee’s wages below the minimum rate required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. (Examples of such deductions include uniforms or tools).
The Fair Labor Standards Act also sets forth certain requirements for tipped employees. Tipped employees are defined as employees who are engaged in occupations wherein the employee customarily and regularly receives more than thirty dollars ($30) in tips. The employer can consider tips as part of the wages. However, an employer must pay the tipped employee at least $2.13 an hour in wages. Furthermore, for an employee to use the tip credit provisions under the FLSA, the employer must place the employee on advance notice of certain criteria and be able to establish certain requirements
Employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to overtime. Overtime pay is pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of the employee’s pay. Overtime pay is required to be paid by the employer after the employee works after forty (40) hours of work in one work week.
Certain employees are exempt from the hourly wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is thus important to know if you are an employee who is covered by the mandatory overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
It is important to note that an employer cannot make deductions from wages to the extent that the deductions reduce the employee’s wages below the overtime due pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Employers must maintain appropriate recordkeeping. This means that employers must keep employee time and pay records. These records are to include wages, hours, and other requirements as specified by the Department of Labor regulations. With respect to an employee who is subject to the minimum wage provisions – or the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions – it is imperative to note that the following records must be kept: (1) the employee’s personal information, including the employee’s name, home address, occupation, sex, and birth date if the employee is under 18 years of age or younger; (2) the hour and day when workweek begins; (3) the total hours worked each workday and each workweek; (4) the total daily or weekly straight-time earnings; (5) the regular hourly pay rate for any week when overtime is worked; (6) the total overtime pay for the workweek; (7) any deductions from or additions to wages; (8) the total wages paid each pay period; and (9) the date of payment and pay period covered.
Further, employees must display an official poster which outlines the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
5.) Child Labor
The Fair Labor Standards Act also contains specific to child labor. This section provides certain requirements for employees under the age of eighteen (18).
The Fair Labor Standards Act child labor provisions include restrictions on the hours of work that a minor under the age of sixteen (16) can work. The Fair Labor Standards Act also lists certain hazardous occupations which are prohibited for minors to perform. This list of prohibited occupations declared to be too dangerous include both farm and non farm jobs.
It is important to know that certain employees are exempt from the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Employment Law Attorneys at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A.
If you feel that your employer has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act – or if you are an employer and an employee is alleging a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act – contact the employment law attorneys at Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. today. Our experienced employment lawyers can speak with you regarding your situation.