Who receives coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act?

California employees might be aware that the Fair Labor Standards Act is in place to protect their rights. Some, however, might not know which workers are covered by this law.

Workers who work in interstate commerce, or produce goods to that effect, or handle, sell, or work on goods or materials that were brought in or produced for this type of commerce are covered by FLSA. If the acts under employment are for a common business purpose, it is covered under FLSA. Other FLSA requirements include the sales or business having a gross volume on an annual basis of a minimum of $500,000. Excluded are excise taxes that were taken at retail. If the business involved operating a hospital, a facility to care for the aged, sick or mentally ill who reside at the location; if it is a school for the physically or mentally disabled; a preschool, an elementary school, a secondary school, or a school of higher education, it is also protected. If it is an activity of a public agency, it is protected by FLSA.

If the enterprise had previously fallen under FLSA on March 31, 1990, but has stopped being covered by the revision to the $500,000 limit, will still have to adhere to the rules for overtime, child labor and recordkeeping. If an employee works for a firm that is not covered under FLSA, he or she might still be protected under overtime, child labor and recordkeeping rules. These employees must be essential to the business production and are working in communications or transportation, keep records or handle goods being shipped interstate, cross state lines during their employment, or work for independent contractors who do maintenance, clerical or custodial work for companies engaging in interstate commerce.

If the worker is in the domestic service industry as a day worker, full-time babysitter, cook, chauffer or housekeeper, the person is protected by FLSA if the cash wages from a single employer reach a certain annually adjusted level and work for more than eight hours per week for one or more employers.

FLSA rules are complex. Some workers who have been subject to a denial of benefits or other violations might not know their employee rights under the law. Speaking to a legal professional can help in determining whether there was an FLSA violation and if there is, the resulting foundation to file a lawsuit.

Source: dol.gov, “Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act — Who is Covered?,” accessed on Aug. 8, 2016

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