The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, establishing the first minimum wage and 40-hour work week. The law originally featured a large number of special industry exemptions, but many of these exemptions have since been repealed. The current exemptions under the FLSA focus on "white collar" positions and apply primarily to executive, administrative, and executive employees. In 1949, an amendment to the FLSA directly prohibited child labor for the first time in the U.S. Today, the wage and hour standards set forth by the FLSA affect more than 100 million workers.
The Fair Labor Standard Act sets forth the minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. These standards affect and benefit both full and part time workers who are employed in the private sector, as well as those employed by Federal, State, and local governments. It is administered and enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. Under the FLSA's labor laws, covered, nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009 as well as time and a half pay for hours worked over forty in a workweek.
The law does not limit the number of hours in a day or days in a week that an employee may be required to work, unless the employee is under the age of sixteen. This includes overtime hours. The FLSA does not require employers to give their employees any of the following:
The FLSA applies to all employees of certain enterprises, regardless of the duties they perform. If you work for any of the following, you are probably covered for overtime and minimum wage provisions by the FLSA:
Employees of companies that do not meet the $500,000 annual dollar volume test may be covered if they are individually engaged in interstate commerce, the production of goods for interstate commerce, or an activity that is closely related and directly essential to the production of such goods.
Day workers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, cooks, and full-time babysitters are usually covered if:
It is important to note that even if you are covered by the FLSA, you may be exempt from the overtime wage provision if your job duties place you into one of the exemption categories. Examples of employees who may not be covered include those who work for small construction companies or small, independently owned retail or service businesses.
Workweek: The Fair Labor Standards Act defines a workweek as a period of 168 hours during 7 consecutive 24-hour periods. The employer can establish the hour and day that the workweek begins. In terms of calculating minimum wage and overtime payments, the averaging of two or more workweeks is prohibited. For example, if an employee worked 50 hours in week one, followed by 30 hours in week two, he or she is entitled to 10 hours of overtime pay for the first week, even though the average hours for the pay period totals forty per week.
Hours Worked: Employees who are covered by the FLSA must be paid for all hours worked in a given workweek. This includes time spent on duty, as well as time spent on the employer's premises or at any other prescribed place of work, from the beginning of the first principal activity of the work day to the end of the last principal work activity of the workday.
You may be entitled to back wages for overtime and under-payment. Contact an overtime lawyer to make sure you are receiving the compensation you are legally entitled to.