FLSA stands for Fair Labor Standards Act. According to the United States Department of Labor, it “establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.”
It was originally drafted in 1932 by Senator Hugo Black before a revised version was eventually adopted in 1938. The act has gone through numerous updates, amendments, and rule changes in the years since, but still serves as an extension of its original primary purpose of protecting workers’ rights.
What exactly do you need to know about FLSA, though? To better inform you of your obligations from FLSA, we are going to run through its major points.
Exempt vs. Non-exempt Employees
Certain aspects of FLSA, specifically minimum wage and overtime rules, are not applicable to employees classified as exempt. We have previously covered the differences between exempt and non-exempt employee classifications. For more information on these classifications, read our articles on how to classify employees, as well as the status of recent updates to FLSA’s overtime rule.
FLSA sets a minimum wage of $7.25/hour for applicable, non-exempt workers. This is the most straightforward of FLSA’s regulations. However, there are state-specific statutes that may supercede the $7.25/hour rule, so it is vital to know if these exist in your state. There are other exemptions as well, specifically for certain industries.
FLSA also states that non-exempt workers must be paid at an overtime rate of one and one-half times their regular rate for time worked past 40 hours in one workweek.
For instance, if a non-exempt employee makes $10/hour, and they work 50 hours in one week, they would be paid at their usual $10/hour rate for the first 40 hours, then $15/hour for the remaining 10 hours. This equates to a gross weekly income of $400 from the first 40 hours, plus $150 for the 10 hours of overtime, totaling $550 gross weekly income.
The FLSA’s equal pay provisions prohibits sex-based differences in wage between men and women:
- Employed in the same establishment.
- Performing jobs that require equal:
- Performing jobs under similar working conditions.
FLSA specifies what records employers must keep. In general, it requires that they be kept in the following areas:
- Personal information, including employee’s name, home address, occupations, sex, and birthdate (if under 19 years old).
- Hour and day when workweek begins.
- Total hours worked each workday and each workweek.
- Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings.
- Regular hourly pay rate for any week when overtime is worked.
- Total overtime pay for the workweek.
- Deductions from, or additions to wages.
- Total wages paid each pay period.
- Date of payment and pay period covered.
There are additional and varying recordkeeping requirements for exempt employees, homeworkers, employees working under uncommon pay arrangements, employees for whom lodging and/or other facilities are furnished, and employees receiving remedial education.
Child Labor Standards
One of FLSA’s major points is to outline labor standards for child workers under 18 years of age. There are differing regulations for agricultural and nonagricultural work outlined by these standards.
|Non-Agricultural Child Labor|
|Non-Hazardous Jobs||Yes||Yes||Various non-manufacturing, non-mining jobs under certain hours-limiting conditions.|
|Agricultural Child Labor|
|Age||16+||14-15||12-13||Under 12||Any Age|
|Non-Hazardous||Yes||Yes||Yes, with either:||Yes, with either:|
Or on farms not covered by minimum wage requirements.
|Minors of any age may be employed by their parents in any occupation owned or operated by their parents.|
|Hours||Unlimited||Outside school hours||Outside school hours||Outside school hours|