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
Within the context of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), several kinds of employees can be considered an "executive" as long as they meet certain criteria. Follow the steps in this How To to determine whether an employee qualifies for the executive exemption.
An employer may use this policy to ensure they will meet the requirements of the "safe harbor" provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the "safe harbor" provision, employers that inadvertently make improper deductions from the pay of exempt employees can shield themselves from overtime liability if they adopt a salary basis policy and take other steps.
This section helps HR professionals manage challenges that come with operating in multiple states, notably complying with differing state and key municipal laws, and addresses the pros and cons of having a centralized or decentralized HR department. Trends currently affecting multistate employers are identified, such as same-sex marriage laws and tracking various state leave laws, are discussed.
This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices regarding Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) classification and recognizing and avoiding wage and hour claims.
This briefing for supervisors examines the law and best practices regarding classifying employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and similar state laws.
Employment glossary definition of Salary Basis Test.
In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
In-depth review of the spectrum of District of Columbia employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to the minimum wage.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Illinois employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
HR guidance on complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Support on following all the complex FLSA regulations and standards.