The FLSA Rundown
Updated: Mar 22
Welcome back to Otegrity’s labor law series!
If you missed our first post, click here to read about Title VII. In this post, we will be focusing on the Fair Labor Standards Act otherwise known as FLSA.
The Fair Labor Standards Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. Prior to this, working conditions were not the greatest to say the least. Workers, including children, were severely overworked and underpaid. As more and more workers were taken advantage of, the government realized they needed to get involved. FLSA established a federal minimum wage, protects children in the workplace, and introduced overtime pay when working over 40 hours per week.
What Does FLSA Regulate?
FLSA primarily regulates federal minimum wage (currently set at $7.25) and overtime pay. The act also has restrictions on child labor. Teenagers between 14 to 17 are not allowed to work a dangerous job and if a child is under the age of 14, they cannot work at all.
It’s important to note that FLSA typically does not cover volunteers or independent contractors. It also does not regulate the following:
Different pay on weekends or holidays
Termination of employment notice
Violations and Consequences
How do you violate FLSA? FLSA violations can include
Not paying your employees if they are doing work-related tasks off the clock
Incorrectly classifying employees as exempt
Not keeping detailed records of employees
Of course, there are consequences for these actions as well. As an employer you could face hefty fines from the Department of Labor. Overtime and minimum wage violations could cost your company up to $1,000 per violation. Child labor violations result in a $10,000 fine per child employed by the company.
Now, we do not think you would intentionally violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. Without a proper time and attendance system in place, though, it can begin to become overwhelming trying to keep track of when and how long your employees are working. It can also be a hassle to keep track of when they need breaks (especially minors). Let’s take a look at an example of an FLSA violation.
Don’t Be This Guy
There was a popular café located in a beach town and was a tourist hot spot during the summer months. The owner was looking for ways to increase profits, while reducing costs and came up with a plan to hire a group of teenagers. For months, the owner of the café did not allow them any breaks during their shift. They scheduled the teenagers for 40-hour work weeks with no overtime pay. One day, a tourist and her family who were in the café almost every day noticed what was happening. They decided they would report the owner for conducting illegal labor practices concerning minors. The owner of the café was audited by the Department of Labor and had to pay the high schoolers back for their hours.
Don’t be like the café owner, who had to learn the hard way. Contact Otegrity today to find out how you can automate your employees time tracking and payroll and ultimately prevent an FLSA violation.
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