The Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed by Congress on June 25th,
1938. The main objective of the act was to eliminate “labor
conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standards of
living necessary for health, efficiency and well-being of workers,”
who engaged directly or indirectly in interstate commerce, including
those involved in production of goods bound for such commerce.
A major provision of the act established a maximum work week and
minimum wage. Initially, the minimum wage was $0.25 per hour, along
with a maximum workweek of 44 hours for the first year, 42 for the
second year and 40 thereafter. Minimum wages of $0.25 per hour were
established for the first year, $0.30 for the second year, and $0.40
over a period of the next six years.
Other provisions set standards for overtime compensation and banned
products of child labor from interstate commerce. A Wage and Hour
Division (WHD) was also created by the Department of Labor. The
purpose of this division was to accelerate the raising standards
within an industry if, a committee recommended change.
The Fair Labor Standards Act has been amended repeatedly in subsequent
decades, with changes expanding the classes of workers covered,
raising the minimum wage, redefining regular-time work, raising
overtime payments to encourage the hiring of new workers, and
equalizing pay scales for men and women.
FLSA Regulations and Non-Regulations
While the FLSA does set basic minimum wage, overtime pay standards,
and regulates the employment of minors, there are a number of
employment practices which FLSA does not regulate.
FLSA does not require:
v Vacation, holiday, severance, or sick pay;
v Premium pay for weekend or holiday work;
v Pay raises or fringe benefits; and
v A discharge notice, reason for discharge, or immediate payment of
final wages to terminated employees.
Wage Standards and Exemptions
Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less
than $5.15 an hour. Overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and
one-half times their regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of
work in a workweek. Wages required by FLSA are due on the regular
payday for the pay period covered.
Who is Covered?
All employees of certain enterprises having workers engaged in
interstate commerce, producing goods for interstate commerce, or
handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that
have been moved in or produced for such commerce are covered by FLSA.
Employees of firms which are not covered enterprises under FLSA still
may be subject to its minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor
provisions if they are individually engaged in interstate commerce or
in the production of goods for interstate...