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
Joint enforcement actions taken by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in cooperation with state labor agencies continue to bear fruit.
Employees of the uniform services provider had alleged that the company's policy of rounding their punch-in and punch-out times to the nearest 15 minutes, combined with its strict attendance policy in which employees are disciplined for punching in more than five minutes late, resulted in employees being underpaid by 30 to 40 minutes per pay period.
As mandated by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, every employer covered by the Tennessee Wage Regulation Act and Tennessee Child Labor Act must post the Tennessee Wage Regulation Act and Child Labor Act poster.
In-depth review of the spectrum of New York employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
As mandated by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, all employers covered by the Rhode Island Child Labor Laws must post the Rhode Island Child Labor Laws poster.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Missouri employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
As mandated by the Department of Labor and Industry, every Pennsylvania business governed by the Child Labor Law must post the Pennsylvania Hours of Work for Minors Under Eighteen poster.
As mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, employers of minors must post the Pennsylvania Abstract of the Child Labor Act Hours Provisions poster.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Nevada employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Minnesota 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.