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Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act

Fair Labor Standards ActThe Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was originally passed in 1938, affecting nearly 70,000 workers at the time. It was one of the most important pieces of legislation in the New Deal and it governed pay, limited the workday and workweek for workers, and established child labor laws. Since it was first passed, there have been numerous amendments to this law in an attempt to cover more workers, ensure equal pay, and increase the federal minimum wage.

The Fair Labor Standards Act protects non-exempt employees that work for any business or employer with at least $500,000 in gross sales. These workers are protected by federal law and must receive the minimum wage and overtime pay if they work more than a 40-hour work week. While there are some gray areas when determining if an employee can be classified as exempt, in general, exempt employees are typically salaried employees, such as an executive, administrative, or professional. These employees are paid salary positions and are exempt from the overtime and minimum wage  provisions.

How Does the Fair Labor Standards Act Govern Wages?

Since 2009, employers are required to pay non-exempt employees a minimum wage of no less than $7.25 an hour. Employers with tipped employees are required to pay at least $2.13 per hour and make up the difference if the employee does not at least earn the minimum wage after tips are factored in.

States are allowed to set their own minimum wages, provided they do not pay less than the federal minimum. For example, in Florida, non-exempt employees are paid a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour.

There are certain classes of non-exempt workers who are allowed to be paid less than the minimum wage. This includes student learners, full-time students, and individuals whose earnings capacity is impaired by a physical or mental disability.

In addition to minimum wage, the FLSA also governs overtime pay. Non-exempt employees that work over the standard 40-hour workweek are required to be paid overtime at a rate of at least one-and-a-half in overtime pay.

Complying with the FLSA is the Employers Job

Employers are completely responsible for maintaining FLSA compliance. Any employee who does not believe that their employer is complying with the FLSA has the right file a complaint or seek legal action. Employers that purposefully misclassify workers, fail to pay appropriate overtime wages, or violate the FLSA in any way may face criminal charges and civil penalties. Understanding your rights as a worker in Florida is key to obtaining the money that is rightfully yours. An experienced Miami employment lawyer can help employees seek justice after they’ve been the victim of unfair employment practices.

Contact Our Miami Employment Lawyers Today

As an employee in Florida, you have rights. The Fair Labor Standards Act is one law that protects workers from unfair wage practices and wage theft. If you believe that you have been a victim of wage theft or unfair work practices, it is critical that you call an experienced Miami employment lawyer immediately to learn more about your legal rights. Call the Law Office of Keith M. Stern, P.A. today at 888-315-8771.