How can an employer in the wholesale and warehouse industries determine whether it is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?

Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor

The provisions of the FLSA apply to employers whose gross annual sales or business volume is at least $500,000. Certain employees are also covered on an individual basis, based on engaging in interstate commerce or producing goods for interstate commerce. Courts have held that activities as simple as phoning or emailing someone in another state can count as interstate commerce. Therefore, even if a wholesale employer does not have the requisite gross annual sales or business volume, chances are that most if not all of its employees engage in interstate commerce for coverage purposes.

In fact, the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has stated in a Fact Sheet that in its experience, "virtually all employees of wholesale and warehouse industries are covered by the Act's provisions." Therefore, wholesale employers should comply with the FLSA's many requirements, including its minimum wage, overtime pay and child labor provisions.