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
In-depth review of the spectrum of Washington employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
Effective January 1, 2016, members of a bargaining unit recognized by the Illinois Labor Relations Board whose union has contractually agreed to a 1040/2080 alternate shift schedule will be exempt from the state's overtime requirements.
California's attorney general approved the title and summary of a ballot initiative that, if approved, would increase the state minimum wage to $11.00 in 2017, and by another $1.00 over each of the next four years. Then, starting in 2022, the minimum wage would be adjusted each year based on the rate of inflation.
The US House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections heard testimony about the US Department of Labor's proposal to roughly double the minimum salary for most employees exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In-depth review of the spectrum of Missouri employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
Overtime reform, discrimination in hiring claims and joint employer liability proved top concerns for employers, according to law firm Littler Mendelson's 4th Annual Executive Employer Survey Report.
Kansas City, Missouri, has passed an ordinance that will establish a local minimum wage of $8.50 an hour on August 24, 2015, and then gradually increase the minimum wage each year until it reaches $13.00 in 2020. After 2020, the minimum wage will be adjusted for inflation each year.
Under a new law, Rhode Island's minimum cash wage for tipped employees will increase from $2.89 to $3.39 on January 1, 2016, and to $3.89 on January 1, 2017.
HR guidance on complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Support on following all the complex FLSA regulations and standards.