Employers’ Legal Obligations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Enacted in 1938 and amended several times over the years, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor and recordkeeping standards affecting employees across the United States.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing the law and has the legal authority to issue sanctions on businesses and organizations it finds to be in violation. Below is a brief overview of the FLSA and employers’ primary obligations under it:
- Overtime: Employers must provide all nonexempt workers with overtime pay of one-and-a-half times their regular hourly pay for all hours worked above 40 in any seven-day period. There is no limit to the total number of hours employees may work in a week, as long as they receive overtime compensation per FLSA guidelines.
- Minimum wage: As of July 2009, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for all nonexempt employees. Many states, but not Pennsylvania, have minimum wages that exceed the federal rate.
- Recordkeeping: Employers must post FLSA requirements in a place that’s accessible to all employees, while also keeping thorough records of all workers’ time and pay. These records are subject to DOL review.
- Child labor: The FLSA places restrictions on the employment of minors under the age of 16. These provisions aim to protect children’s rights to education and prevent them from working in unsafe or unhealthy conditions.
As an employer, it is critically important that you fully understand the FLSA and your legal obligations. For further guidance on this issue, consult an experienced Pittsburgh employment law attorney with Feldstein Grinberg Lang & McKee, P.C.