FLSA Wage and Hour Law - Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act



The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law which sets the basic minimum wage, defines the 40 hour workweek, establishes standards for overtime pay at time-and-a-half, and restricts or disallows most child labor. It has been amended several times since its enactment in 1938. One amendment with much impact is the Equal Pay amendment, which established that male and female workers must receive equal pay for work that requires equal responsibility, skill and effort.

FLSA covers full-time and part-time employees, and private employers as well as many government organizations, such as state and local hospitals and educational institutions. However, only employers who are engaged in interstate commerce or whose annual sales total at least $500,000 must comply with this law. The interstate commerce restriction actually includes a very large number of companies. Small farms, most outside salespeople, many white-collar workers, and various other miscellaneous workers are exempt from the FSLA and this law does not apply to volunteers and independent contractors. Although exempt employees are not entitled to overtime pay and the like, legally their pay may not be cut for tardiness or temporary absences during part of the work day. Exempt employees must meet specific requirements to be identified as such.

The FLSA does not address or regulate the following: sick leave or pay; severance; vacation pay or time; breaks or meal periods; holidays off; extra pay for weekend or holiday work; pay raises; employee benefits; notices of termination; final payment to fired employees; W-2’s; and paystubs. However, some states have their own laws that address these issues.

Employees may recover lost wages and other damages under the FLSA against private or public employers in either federal or state court. Nationwide, the number of these types of lawsuits has been rising. Many employees have been denied overtime pay that they were not aware they were legally entitled to. Other employers may be guilty of violating child labor laws, not meeting the minimum wage requirements or erroneously classifying employees as independent contractors. All of these situations represent the practice area of FLSA law, also known as wage-and-hour law.

To consult State Legislation regarding FLSA please visit our Department of Labor by State page. Copyright HG.org

FLSA Overtime Claims Law - US

  • ABA - Federal Labor Standards Legislation

    This committee has jurisdiction over certain statutes administered, or formerly administered, by the United States Department of Labor. The subcommittees work in the areas of: Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Equal Pay Act; Fair Labor Standards Act; Family Medical Leave Act; Davis-Bacon, Walsh-Healy, and Service Contract Acts; Worker Adjustment and Retaining Notification Act; and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988.

  • Complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act

    The U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for a wide range of rules and regulations that affect both employers and employees all across the country. Various laws have been instituted over the years, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), passed by Congress in 1938. The main objective of the act was to eliminate “labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standards of living necessary for health, efficiency, and well-being of workers.”

  • Department of Labor - Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which prescribes standards for the basic minimum wage and overtime pay, affects most private and public employment. It requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay of one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay. For nonagricultural operations, it restricts the hours that children under age 16 can work and forbids the employment of children under age 18 in certain jobs deemed too dangerous.

  • Employment Law Guide - Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is administered by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The Act establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor. These standards affect more than 130 million workers, both full‑time and part‑time, in the private and public sectors.

  • Fair Labor Standards Act and Child Labor

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes child labor standards (as well as minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay, whistleblower, and record keeping standards). These standards affect full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. The FLSA's child labor provisions are designed to protect the educational opportunities of minors and prohibit their employment in jobs and under conditions detrimental to their health or well-being.

  • Federal Employees and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

    These pages summarize the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and how the U.S. Office of Personnel Management applies it to current and former employees of the United States Federal Government. For convenience, the phrase "current and former employees of the United States Federal Government" may be shortened to "Federal employees." Throughout these pages, "you" refers to a Federal employee and "we" or "us" refers to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

  • Youth Rules

    Federal child labor rules are established by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor rules affecting full- and part-time workers in the private sector and in the Federal, state and local governments. The rules vary depending upon the age of the young worker and his or her occupation.

Organizations Related to FLSA Overtime Claims Law

  • About EmployeeIssues.com

    Welcome to EmployeeIssues.com, a free resource for general information about employee rights laws in the United States. EmployeeIssues.com helps employees to help themselves, to better understand their employee rights under the related laws. EmployeeIssues.com has been serving employees since 2003. Although EmployeeIssues.com is targeted primarily to employees, the employee rights law resources it provides are also useful for employers.

  • Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law and Policy

    The Institute's mission is to advocate for employee rights by advancing equality and justice in the American workplace. The Institute will achieve its mission through a multi-disciplinary approach in combination with innovative legal strategies, policy development, grassroots advocacy, and public education.

Publications Related to FLSA Overtime Claims Law

  • Employment Law Information Network - News

    This site is designed for lawyers concentrating in employment law and human resource professionals who specialize in employee relations.

  • FLSA - Articles and News - Personnel Policy Service Inc.

    HR Matters newsletter is a quick and easy way for you to stay on top of employment law compliance. This monthly, 8-page 'bottom-line' publication is available by subscription - or - if you subscribe to our manual or CD service, you get it for free.

Articles on HG.org Related to FLSA

  • Overtime and How It Is Calculated
    Certain employees are entitled to overtime pay. Federal and state laws dictate how this time is to be calculated when it is available.
  • The Problem with Minors Signing Contracts
    A minor is not permitted to enter into a legal contract for any reason, and this causes severe complications for a business owner when the individual is not of legal age. However, there are certain situations that are exempt from these problems in placing the teen in a place of business through a family company or when creating a new business.
  • Employment Laws You Must Understand if You Have a Small Business
    Small businesses are a great option for many individuals who want to be their own bosses and harness their creative energies. However, owning your own business comes with great responsibility. Many small businesses must comply with a number of federal, state and local employment laws when they hire staff to assist them in fulfilling their dreams.
  • Employer Refused to Pay Workers for Restroom Breaks
    Department of Labor sues on behalf of 6,000 employees.
  • Paying Employees Fairly and OnTime
    When employees are not paid properly, it is possible they will leave the company, file a lawsuit against the employer or even ban together and cause complications for the business. By law, if a worker has not been given adequate monetary compensation for his or her time laboring away within the company, the owner could be liable for litigation and severe penalties.
  • Is Your Employer Skimming from Your Paycheck?
    New report shows companies steal billions from workers every year. A new report reveals some alarming findings that all workers should be aware of.
  • New York City Curtails Retail Businesses' and Fast Food Chains' Discretion in Scheduling Workers' Shifts
    New laws in New York City substantially limit retail employers' and fast food establishments' discretion in scheduling work shifts for their employees.
  • When do Employees Qualify for Overtime Exemptions?
    The Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain hourly employees to be paid overtime rates when they work over a certain number of hours. However, there are many employees who are not entitled to overtime pay. These are referred to as exempt employees.
  • White Collar Overtime Exemption Laws
    Many business owners and persons in management are unaware that misclassifying employees as either exempt or nonexempt affect various different aspects of the company and could lead to legal complications with taxes and wage or overtime laws that are Implemented.
  • Underpaid for My Pay Grade - Boss Wants to Demote Me but I Want a Raise
    Employment positions are often tenuous with possible demotions, pay cuts and termination on the horizon for any number of reasons. However, the fair labor and pay regulations provide certain protections for workers in each state and throughout the country.
  • All Employment and Labor Law Articles

    Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Employment and Labor including: discrimination, employee benefits, employees rights, ERISA, human resources law, labor relations, outsourcing, sexual harassment, whistleblower, workers compensation and wrongful termination.




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