Employment Law – The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is the federal statute that establishes the standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor in the United States. The law applies to companies that  with at least $500,000.00 in gross annual revenue, and have two or more employees who handle products or materials that have moved in interstate commerce.  If the employer does not have two or more employees, an employee may be covered if the employee’s work regularly engages  interstate commerce, such as producing goods that are shipped out of state, or selling products or services to customers in different states.

Under the FLSA,  employees must be paid at the federal minimum wage for each hour  worked.  Additionally, eligible employees working more than 40 hours in a work week must be paid overtime, usually at the rate of  time and one half their regular hourly rate of pay. Some states set their own minimum wage, which  all of which are higher than the federal minimum wage.  Similarly, some states provide additional protections to their employees for compensation, such as break and meal periods.

There are some employees who are exempt from the provisions of the FLSA.  These include members of management, executives, some members of the trucking industry, professionals, and highly compensated individuals who earn more than $100,000.00 in compensation annually.  There are numerous exemptions – or exceptions — under the FLSA, which  all have specific elements.  Each element needs to be analyzed in detail on a case-by-case basis to determine whether an exemption applies. Notably, the employer has the burden of proving that an employee is exempt, or not entitled to overtime wages for their hours over 40 in a work week.

The FLSA’s child labor laws protect the rights of workers under the age of 18.  The statute sets the minimum age for employment at 14.  These provisions limit the times children may work, number of hours they may work and the types of work they can perform.

If you wish to discuss your rights under the FLSA, including analyzing the applicability of an exemption, please contact the Shavitz Law Group at [email protected] or 800-616-4000.

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