FLSA Fair Labor Standard Act Guide

Just under a century ago, the US started to recover from the Great Depression. Workers were at risk of being exploited with low pay for long working hours. Many families were seeking to remain afloat made their children work. These children started working even lower wages, a situation that affected their overall well-being. To bring these practices to an end, the Fair Labor Standards Act became part of legislation in the United States. It was signed into law on June 14th, 1938, as the first act that prescribed nationwide compulsory federal regulation of wages and hours.

What is the Fair Labor Standard Act?

The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) is a federal law that offers guidelines for employment and compensation. It includes information on the minimum wages, eligibility of overtime, definitions for part-time and full-time workers and more. It covers non-exempt workers who earn wages on an hourly basis, rather than through a monthly salary. This act also ensures that workers and their needs have a clear outline by sectors including local, state and federal governments. Furthermore, it outlines recordkeeping regulations to track payments made to employees. The type of employees covered by FLSA includes those who can claim for mandatory overtime. These employees will typically work on an hourly basis, with a 40-hour work week. Any work done outside these hours means that the employees can be compensated with overtime pay or allowed compensatory time. The FLSA outlines various standards for compliance regarding claims by employees. For example, to claim overtime pay, an employee needs to fill out a detailed time and attendance record.

Key Regulations in the Fair Labor Standard Act

An essential part of the employer requirements under the fair labor standards act is the federal minimum wage. The current law has the minimum wage set at $7.25 per hour, a rate which was last amended on July 24th, 2009. Some other employer requirements under the fair labor standards act include the following: -
  1. FLSA Overtime which stipulates that non-exempt employees are to receive overtime pay when they work for more than the typical 40-hour work week. The rate for overtime pay is one and a half times the rate of standard pay.
  2. Recordkeeping requires employers to share official posters that outline FLSA requirements. These need to be displayed in the workplace for easy reference. Furthermore, clear records on time worked and payment must be created and maintained by the employers.
  3. Hours worked is the regulation that outlines the number of hours each employee should work while they are in the workplace over a stipulated time. Most companies are to have 8-hour workdays for five days a week.
  4. Child Labor guidelines prohibit working with minors, as this may have an adverse effect on their well-being.
The overall intention of the FLSA is to protect employees from any work regulations or pay practices that may deem as unfair. Over the years, it has been periodically amended with increases in the minimum wage when viable.