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5/27/2017 11:39:27 PM Member Name  
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Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) , a federal law, is the basic source of wage and hour law. This law defines the minimum wage (currently $5.15/hr), as well as overtime pay provisions, child labor, record keeping, and some other related topics. It also contains the Equal Pay Act which mandates equal pay for equal work regardless of gender. The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) administers this law.

 




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Wage and Hour Law Basics


Overtime Pay
Whether an employee is to be paid overtime is decided by the classification of "non-exempt" or "exempt." Generally speaking, administrative staff, professionals, outside sales people and workers in certain trades are considered exempt from minimum wage and overtime provisions. The Department of Labor (DOL) does have written guidelines on designating exempt status. Only being salaried, or having a certain job title, does not make an employee exempt. The nature of the work and the work relationship define exempt or non-exempt status. With some minor exceptions, employees classified as exempt must be salaried and spend 20% or less of their workday on line duties. The other 80% of work time must be devoted to supervisory, specialized or original work.

Overtime pay is specified under FLSA as time and a half for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a week (not 8 hours in a day), and it is to be paid in cash. The Act does require overtime pay for employees who are "engaged to be waiting" or on-call. The employee cannot effectively use on-call time for his/her own purposes.

Independent Contractor
Classifying an employee as an independent contractor must be done according to the Department of Labor's (DOL) "economic realities" test. Degree of control or direction over the worker, the worker's investment and opportunity for profit and loss, work permanency, degree of skill and whether the work is an integral part of the employer's enterprise are involved in the determination. The Internal Revenue Service also has a definition of independent contractor. It provides a list of criteria that is used by the Texas Workforce Commission for determining unemployment taxes. Generally, very few workers fit the description of independent contractor.

Travel and Break Time Pay
Travel time from one work site to another work site during the workday must be paid. However, travel time going to work or returning home does not qualify for pay. Breaks that are 20 minutes or less count as paid work time.

Employee Benefits
The following employee benefits are not required under FLSA: vacation time, holidays off, severance or sick pay, meal or rest periods, premium pay for weekends or holidays, pay raises, or fringe benefits. It also does not require a discharge notice, reason for discharge, or immediate payment of final wages to terminated employees. Individual company policies apply to all of these categories and should be followed with consistency.

 

 


 
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