Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law enforced by the Department of Labor (DOL) that sets the minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and youth employment standards for employers. It applies to anyone employed by an employer, but not to independent contractors or volunteers as they are not considered employees. Employers cannot exempt workers from the FLSA by calling them independent contractors, and many employers have illegally and incorrectly classified their workers as such. Additionally, some employers mislabel employees as volunteers, which is also illegal.

Courts examine the economic reality of the relationship between the alleged employer and the worker to determine if the worker is an independent contractor or employee. The FLSA also applies to employees who are engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, or who work in a company engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, unless the employer can request an exemption from coverage. The law does not apply to those employed in ministerial functions by an employer affiliated with a religion. The Army and Navy E Award for Excellence in War Production during World War II required maintaining fair labor standards established under the FLSA.

A waiter plays an integral part of customer service without much direct interaction, but does so in a way that is visible to customers. Therefore, for a service waiter to be validly included in a tip reservation, he must meet this minimum threshold sufficiently to encourage customers to tip “regularly and regularly” in recognition of his services (although he does not need to receive tips directly).The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibited employment discrimination against people aged forty and over. Some older workers were denied health benefits based on their age and were denied training opportunities before ADEA approval. The law applies only to companies that employ more than twenty workers. On August 23, 2004, controversial changes to the exemptions from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA took effect, which introduced substantial changes to the definition of an exempt employee.

Low-level supervisors in all U. S. industries were reclassified as executives and lost the right to overtime. The changes were requested by business interests, who argued that it was necessary to clarify the laws and that few workers would be affected.

However, other organizations said that millions of additional workers would not be eligible for help under the FLSA in terms of overtime pay. By contrast, some low-level employees (especially administrative support staff) that were formerly classified as exempt were now reclassified as non-exempt. While these employees hold positions with titles that were formerly used to determine exempt status (such as executive assistant), the 2004 amendment to the FLSA now requires that the exemption be based on the actual job function and not on the job title. Child labor violations occur when employers employ young people below the minimum working age required by state or federal law. The FLSA sets basic rules on minimum wage and overtime pay and regulates the employment of minors, but there are a number of employment practices that it does not regulate.

Cornelius Maxon
Cornelius Maxon

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