We all know that a work week in America is forty hours, that there is a minimum wage that an employer can pay you, and that children are not allowed to do hard labor. This hasn't always been the case. Established in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was landmark legislation enacted in response to unregulated and oppressive working hours imposed by businesses on adult and child employees. The impact of the FLSA on American work life cannot be overstated. It provided sweeping reforms as to how the American working class are treated and paid.
Characteristics and Provisions of the FLSA
A basic understanding of the FLSA is important for everyone in the workforce, because it has shaped the way employees are protected from their employers. The FLSA applies broadly to employers in the private sector, as well as federal, state, and local government employment. Significantly, the FLSA:
1. Established a federal minimum wage. It is hard to believe that there was once no bottom on what an employer could pay. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25; however, be aware that the minimum in California is $10.50 per hour, and employers are required to give you the higher wage.
2. Created the eight hour workday and forty hour work week. This has become so engrained in American culture, that we take for granted that generations ago, there was no limit on what an employer could require of an employee.
3. Required overtime payments. For non-exempt employees, the FLSA established that hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay. This pay has to be at least 1.5 times the employee's regular rate of pay.
4. Made certain notice to employees mandatory. Have you seen those big white posters that state the minimum wage and a ton of additional information? Those are posted for FLSA compliance.
5. Employers had to begin keeping records of timesheets and pay. This facilitates accountability and helps preserve employee grievances against an employer.
6. Created child labor regulations in which children cannot hold dangerous jobs, nor can they work instead of attending school. The FLSA basically eliminated child sweatshops and child factory workers in America.
Contact Moss Bollinger
Employers should be held to task when they violate their employee's rights. Since 2008, attorneys Ari Moss and Jeremy Bollinger have zealously advocated for the interests of employees who have been aggrieved. If you need help standing up to your employer, contact Moss Bollinger. We charge no up front fee and do not get paid unless you do. Call Moss Bollinger today at 800-249-1175 for a free consultation or reach us online.