Overview: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted in 1938, during the depths of the Great Depression. Its goal was to lift the nation back into prosperity by spreading the workload among more workers, thereby alleviating unemployment, and by giving consumers more spending money, thereby spurring the economy.
To accomplish those goals, the law established two main requirements for employers:
Although the Great Depression has passed, the law continues to challenge employers. Few employers set out to deliberately violate FLSA regulations. Rather, most violations are the result of common mistakes, such as:
Employers also often get tripped up by variations between the FLSA regulations and state wage and hour laws. Sometimes the differences can be subtle; other times, they can be significant. But whatever the difference, employers must always comply with whichever law is more favorable to the employee.
Trends: The chances of getting away with noncompliance seem to get increasingly slim with every passing year.
Thousands of lawsuits are filed under the FLSA every year, more than any other federal employment law other than the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). At the same time, the U.S. Department of Labor continues to enforce the FLSA regulations aggressively.
The potential liability for noncompliance can be costly, including back wages, attorney fees and civil penalties.
These damages are often multiplied by hundreds or even thousands of employees, since it is relatively easy for large groups of employees to file collective actions under the FLSA. This results in settlements or verdicts that can easily add up to millions of dollars for larger employers.
Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor
The Walt Disney Company has agreed to pay $3.8 million in back wages to more than 16,000 employees after the US Department of Labor (DOL) found it had violated the minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
With all of the fireworks surrounding the current political climate, some big changes in a major US territory may have flown under the radar. Puerto Rico has dramatically overhauled some key employment laws, and this podcast takes a look with Littler employment attorney Shiara Diloné.
Updated to reflect the reinstatement of the St. Louis minimum wage ordinance, effective February 28, 2017.
For the time being, employers will no longer need to comply with the US Department of Labor's overtime rule, which had been scheduled to take effect December 1, 2016. However, there remains a possibility the rule could be resurrected.
President Trump moved quickly to fill the Secretary of Labor role, nominating Alexander (Alex) Acosta less than 24 hours after his first nominee, Andrew Puzder, withdrew when it appeared he did not have the votes to be confirmed by the Senate. Acosta would be the first Latino member of Trump's cabinet if confirmed.
Enhanced to improve comprehensiveness with the addition of the minimum wage ordinance in Los Altos.
HR guidance on complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Support on following all the complex FLSA regulations and standards.