What is the FLSA?

On Behalf of | November 2, 2020 | Working for Justice Blog

Created 80 years ago, the Fair Labor Standards Act governs the hours worked and wages earned by American employees. The FLSA provides that, unless a specific exemption applies, employers:

  • Must pay employees a minimum wage set by federal law
  • Must pay employees overtime (1.5x their regular rate) for time worked over 40 hours in a workweek
  • Must maintain accurate employment records, including total hours actually worked by employees

The FLSA covers most employers operating in the United States. Although very small, local companies may be excused from the FLSA, they too may be required to pay employees minimum wage and overtime under applicable state laws.

FLSA Violations

Whether intentionally or by accident, employers commonly fail to abide by the FLSA; however, employees are often unaware that they have been denied their fair wages.

For example, many think that an employee who receives a salary is necessarily exempt from the overtime laws. That is simply not the case. There are strict tests an employer must meet to prove an employee is exempt from overtime. Accordingly, while some salaried employees are exempt, many are entitled to overtime pay when they work in excess of 40 hours per week.

Similarly, many companies today have attempted to avoid paying workers overtime by classifying them as independent contractors. However, in numerous cases, courts have found that despite being called “contractors,” the workers were employees under the law and entitled to overtime.

Employers also regularly violate the FLSA by taking deductions from employees’ wages or tips.

Sanford Heisler Sharp's wage and hour violation attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience litigating FLSA actions. If you think your rights may have been violated, contact our employment lawyers for an evaluation of your case.