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Fair Labor Standards Act Claims

March 12, 2014

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) is a federal statute that was passed by Congress “to provide for the establishment of fair labor standards in employments in and affecting interstate commerce.” The Act sets the minimum wage, guarantees payment of time and a half for overtime work, and restricts the number of hours of work per day for minors. It applies to private employers and federal, state, and local governments employing individuals who engage in interstate commerce, produce goods for interstate commerce, or work on goods/materials that have been moved in, or produced for, interstate commerce.

Non-exempt employees are entitled to earn the then-current minimum wage and must be paid at a rate of no less than one and one half times their regular rate of pay for overtime work beyond forty hours in a work week. Employers in certain industries may be exempt from the overtime pay provision or both the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions.  Certain types of employees (for example salaried professional, executive or outside sales employees meeting the requirements of the appropriate exemption) are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Act.   The Act also requires employers to keep records on wages, hours, and other items as specified by U.S. Department of Labor record keeping regulations. Record keeping requirements for non-exempt and exempt workers are different.

It is illegal to fire or in any way discriminate against an employee for filing a complaint or participating in a legal proceeding under the Act.  The Act provides for ways in which an employee can recover unpaid minimum and overtime wages, and potentially liquidated damages equal to the unpaid amounts due, and attorney fees.  Employers may face additional penalties for violation of the Act.

Lastly, the equal pay provisions of the FLSA prohibit sex-based discrimination in wage differentials between women and men employed at the same place, working in jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and who perform under the same working conditions.

The U.S. Department of Labor updated its overtime rules, effective December 1, 2016. Information regarding filing a complaint can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour website. Click the following links for more information, facts, and FAQ’s  on the FLSA.

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