What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that addresses minimum wages, overtime compensation, child labor, and equal payment for men and women who perform the same or essentially the same jobs.

The Fair Labor Standards Act applies to most businesses that have at least $500,000.00 in gross receipts during the applicable calendar year.

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all employees, with certain exceptions, be paid at least $7.25 per hour for each hour actually worked. In the event that an employee is receiving additional compensation, such as tips or a housing allowance, this likely will be included for purposes of determining whether the employee’s wages are least $7.25 per hour.

Any employee who works more than 40 hours in a work week and is otherwise covered under the overtime provisions of the Act must be paid 1-1/2 times their hourly rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week. This is true regardless whether the employee is paid a salary.

There are various exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act that address whether an employee is entitled to minimum wage or overtime compensation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act further requires that employees be paid the same for comparable work regardless of their sex. The Equal Pay Act Amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act was intended to prohibit employers from paying men more than women for doing the same or similar jobs.

To determine whether an employee has been improperly compensated, it is necessary to look at each week of employment and calculate the number of hours actually worked and the compensation that they received. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not apply to compensation received while an employee is out of work for a holiday, on vacation, or due to an accident or illness. The provisions only apply to actual hours worked by an employee during a given work week.

The damages available under the Fair Labor Standards Act are the actual lost earnings and, in most instances, additional pay equal to the amount of lost earnings. The Fair Labor Standards Act also allows for payment of the employee’s attorney’s fees by the employer.

It is not uncommon for someone to contact our office to inquire about a potential wrongful discharge claim and to find out that they may maintain a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act due to the manner in which they were compensated by their former employer.