The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a U.S. Federal law that protects workers through setting a minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping and youth labor. It is important to understand if you work in the U.S., because if your employer does not follow this act, then you may be entitled to not only fair labor standards but more. (Note, these laws may differ from state to state and be affected by COVID-19).
First, it is important to know if you qualify under this act. Fortunately, this act includes a wide variety of workers, such as:
- Full-time workers in the private sector or government,
- Part-time workers in the private sector or government,
- Employees of an enterprise that makes at least $500,000 annually,
- School & preschool workers,
- Employees of a hospital or business that provides medical care,
- Employees that deal with interstate commerce,
- Domestic workers, and more.
If you are not included on the list above, it is still possible that you qualify under the act. You can always contact your local government or attorney to find out if you qualify. Everyone who does qualify under the act receives the following benefits:
Minimum Wage. The minimum wage is established by the U.S. Congress. Congress declared that the minimum wage for an individual in the U.S. is $7.25 an hour. Also, an employee that makes at least $30 a month in tips has a minimum wage of $2.13 an hour. Now, this is only the minimum wage you can receive, and it also varies from state to state. Each state may have their own minimum wage, and whichever is higher (state or federal) is what you will receive in that state. For example, the minimum wage in Missouri is $10.30 an hour, and will increase by 85c an hour each year through 2023. This is obviously higher than the federal average, and thus if you live in Missouri, you are in luck if you make minimum wage.
Overtime Pay. Overtime pay refers to the amount of money an employee is to receive for any hours above 40 for the week. The overtime rate is at least time and a half. For example, if you work 50 hours in a week, 10 of those hours will qualify for overtime pay. At time and a half, you will receive pay equivalent to 15 hours (10 x 1.5). It is important to note that working on the weekends and holidays do not automatically qualify for overtime pay unless those hours accumulate to over 40 in a week. There are also exceptions to overtime pay.
Recordkeeping. Under the FLSA, an employer must keep the following records of their employees:
- Employee’s full name and social security number
- Birthday (if under 19)
- Hours worked each day
- Sex and occupation
- Total hours worked each week
- Time and day when the workweek begins
- Regular hourly pay rate
- Total wages paid each pay period
- Total overtime earnings for the workweek
- Total daily/weekly earnings
- Date of payment and pay period
Child Labor Standards. These standards protect workers under the age of 18 and pertain to both the number of hours they may work and what they can do.
If you are required to work “off the clock” without compensation, or if you are being required to work overtime without compensation, The FLSA or wage laws in your state may offer you a means to be compensated for those lost wages. It is important to consult with an attorney familiar with those laws. Fortman Law has handled FLSA cases and cases under various state statutes. If you believe you may have a claim, please contact us for a free consultation.
Law Office of Jonathan E. Fortman, LLC