Fair Labor Standards Act


Every employer in the U.S., whether it is public sector (federal, state, and local governments) or private sector, must make sure that it adheres with the prevailing federal and California laws, especially when it comes to the aspect of labor. In accordance with the laws, it is their responsibility to pay them the necessary wages for all their hours worked. It is also their duty to give them time to rest and eat their meals within specific parts of the workday. Strict compliance is a must with such laws; simply failing to uphold the rights of the workers would violate these laws. This causes the employer to face sanctions such as paying them the wages that are owed to them and other penalties.

One of the top federal laws governing labor in the whole nation is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) via the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), it is a federal Act that establishes some of the various labor standards that affect both the private and public sectors of employment in the U.S., especially more than 130 million workers in the country, whether they work part-time or full-time. It basically sets forth the minimum wage rate, as well as how much a worker is paid if he or she renders overtime work. It also provides certain regulations with regard to recordkeeping of wages paid to employees.

Under the FLSA, a rate is set forth on the aspect of the minimum wage, which is paid to non-exempt employees for all their hours worked. Right now, it is currently set at $7.25 per hour, which has been the rate since 2009. However, it is worth noting that some states have their own minimum wage rate, which is mainly higher than the federal rate. Although the two rates apply in California, for example, non-exempt workers are paid the rate that is beneficial to them, and that is the state minimum wage rate. Meanwhile, overtime pay under the Act is one and one-half times the regular rate of pay, which is given to a non-exempt worker for all his or her hours worked beyond a 40-hour workweek.

The Act basically differentiates who is paid the minimum wage and overtime and those who are not. Those who are paid the basic wages are those who are categorized as non-exempt, and those who are not are categorized as exempt from receiving overtime. The FLSA also sets forth which employees are exempted from both minimum wage or overtime or from overtime provisions only. For instance, employees who perform executive, administrative, and professional work, as well as outside sales employees and skilled computer professionals are exempted from receiving both overtime and minimum wage payments and are paid on a salary basis.

Meanwhile, any workers who may have problems with their employers in terms of minimum wage, overtime, and other labor-related issue can file their FLSA claim in California. Whether they have been owed wages which their employers failed to provide for a long time, or have been subjected to unlawful employment and labor practices, it is imperative for them to exercise their rights.

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