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Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

March 06, 2008

Synopsis:

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. For agricultural operations, it prohibits the employment of children under age 16 during school hours and in certain jobs deemed too dangerous. The Act is administered by the Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor.

Federal Minimum Wage:

• $5.85 per hour beginning July 24, 2007
• $6.55 per hour beginning July 24, 2008
• $7.25 per hour beginning July 24, 2009

Overtime Pay:

• At least 11⁄2 times an employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Youth Employment:

An employee must be at least 16 years old to work in most non-farm jobs and at least 18 to work in non-farm jobs declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.

Youths 14 and 15 years old may work outside school hours in various non-manufacturing, non-mining, non-hazardous jobs under the following conditions:

No more than

• 3 hours on a school day or 18 hours in a school week;
• 8 hours on a non-school day or 40 hours in a non-school week.

Also, work may not begin before 7 a.m. or end after 7 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day, when evening hours are extended to 9 p.m. Different rules apply in agricultural employment. For more information, visit the YouthRules! Web site at www.youthrules.dol.gov.

Tip Credit:

Employers of “tipped employees” must pay a cash wage of at least $2.13 per hour if they claim a tip credit against their minimum wage obligation. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s cash wage of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Certain other conditions must also be met.

Enforcement:

The Department of Labor may recover back wages either administratively or through court action, for the employees that have been underpaid in violation of the law. Violations may result in civil or criminal action.

Civil money penalties of up to $11,000 per violation may be assessed against employers who violate the youth employment provisions of the law and up to $1,100 per violation against employers who willfully or repeatedly violate the minimum wage or overtime pay provisions. This law prohibits discriminating against or discharging workers who file a complaint or participate in any proceedings under the Act.

Official Website: http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/flsa/
Administration: http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/


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