If you're an employee working in the U.S., you may have heard of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FSLA is a federal law that protects all employees, no matter what state you work in, although certain states may also provide their own laws and regulations to protect employees in addition to the FSLA. You may have heard mention of the FSLA around your workplace but didn't know too much about it. So, what is the FSLA and how can it protect you?
In short, the FSLA provides employee rights and protections, particularly in areas such as minimum wage, hours and overtime, child labor standards and recordkeeping. The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor are responsible for administering and enforcing this law, and can order payment of back wages, file lawsuits for back wages and issue injunctions for FSLA violations.
FSLA requires overtime pay for non-exempt employees working over 40 hours per week. Overtime pay must be at least one and a half times the employee's regular rate of pay. The FSLA also sets wage rates. For instance the federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 an hour. Further, the FLSA requires that tipped workers, such as waitstaff, must be paid at least $2.13 an hour and, if they fail to make up the difference in tips, the employer must pay up to the minimum wage.
In addition to wage and hour regulations, another area regulated by the FSLA is child employment. The FSLA states that children be at least 16years-old to work in most non-farm jobs, while there are far fewer restrictions on hiring children for farm labor. The FSLA also establishes a youth minimum wage of $4.25 per hour.
These are just some ways that you may be protected by the FSLA. Some employees, however, may be considered exempt from FSLA, particularly with regard to overtime or wage requirements. These exempt employees and jobs may be salaried employees, seasonal employees, sales jobs and executives, just to name a few.
Be sure to consult with an experienced employment law attorney if you believe you may have a claim for violation of your wage and hour rights under the FSLA and to discuss your rights and remedies, including the possibility of back pay, for any violations.
Source: Findlaw.com, FLSA Reference Guide, accessed March 13, 2018.