Minimum Wage, Overtime and the Fair Labor Standards Act

One of the most basic forms of legal regulation in our present system are the employment laws which regulate the relationship between employers and workers. Of these most basic protections, the minimum wage and overtime laws are some of the most commonly requested information in relation to employment law. The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) is the piece of legislation which deals with this area proscribing certain rules like record keeping, the prohibition against child labour, overtime regulation and the law regarding payment of the minimum wage.

The provisions of this law affect a vast array of workers in the employ of both government and private industry. The act was created because of the federal government’s interstate commerce power and this defines its scope of application as being people employed in industries which operate across state boundaries within the United States. These days that potentially encompasses every employee in the nation.

If, as an employer, you are in doubt as to whether the FLSA act applies to your company, it is best to err on the side of caution. We have a compliance manual available for download as well which you can use as a guide although it is often also possible to resolve theses issues by contacting the local US department of labor office to verify your conclusions. Some of the occupation that are exempt from the provisions of this legislation are executive, administrative and professional staff as well as computer related technical employees.

The current minimum wage in the United States is $7.25 per hour. People aged under 20 need to be paid at least $4.25 per hour and it is a breach of the Fair Labour Standards Act to remove an adult employee in order to replace them with a youth employee. Staff like waiters who receive tips must also be paid at least $2.13 per hour. It also needs to be understood that some people are exempt from minimum wage requirements like students in certain industries and the disabled.

There are some home industries that are also not permitted without prior certification like knitting and other textile manufacturing industries where the employers need to satisfy the regular that they are going to comply with the terms of the FLSA. If you are an employee, its important that you understand your rights accurately and you can contact the local US department of labor for information about this if required.

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