The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) functions to protect the rights of employees throughout the United States by addressing several issues related to employment. The FLSA contains provisions regarding minimum wage, overtime compensation, child labor, and other aspects of employment. Employers must typically abide by the provisions contained in the FLSA unless they are able to prove that their employees are exempt. Employers who violate the FLSA can be subject to a variety of penalties including fines and imprisonment. An employee who has had his rights violated under the FLSA often has the right to recover damages resulting from the unfair treatment, including unpaid wages, unpaid overtime plus interest, as well as reasonable attorney’s fees. The FLSA does not apply to all employees. In order to recover, an employee who is a victim of an FLSA violation must first prove that he does not fall into an “exempt” category and bring his claim forward before the statute of limitations expires. There are many nuances and specific applications of the FLSA that must be carefully analyzed with each individual FLSA claim. These situations often require the help of an attorney who is knowledgeable about the law and can help you properly protect your rights under the FLSA.
The FLSA defines standard minimum wage rates that apply across the United States. States are free to create their own minimum wage rates so long as they equal or exceed those provided by the FLSA. The FLSA also prohibits wage discrimination on the basis of an employee’s sex. In addition to the minimum wage rates prescribed for employees, the FLSA also provides different rates for employees who work aboard ships, as domestic servants, in agricultural industries, or in certain other fields. The FLSA also has special provisions regarding the rates paid to employees who are less than 20 years old. Many of the aspects of the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions intersect with other local, state, and federal laws regarding pay rates and different types of discrimination. These matters can often become complex. There may also be multiple ways in which an aggrieved employee can recover. If you believe that you have not been paid in accordance with any minimum wage provisions, either under the FLSA or other applicable law, you should consult an experienced labor attorney who can explain these complexities and help you fully exercise your rights.
The FLSA limits employers from having non-exempt employees work more than forty hours in any workweek. If an employee does work more than forty hours in one workweek, the FLSA entitles him to a minimum overtime compensation of one and a half times his regular hourly rate. For instance, an employee who normally makes $30 per hour would be entitled to at least $45 per hour for each hour he works past forty hours in a workweek. Although this concept may seem simple at first glance, there are several exceptions that apply. These exceptions, including an employee’s status as an “exempt” employee, require careful evaluation. An experienced attorney with expert knowledge of the FLSA and other employment laws can help determine if you are eligible to receive overtime compensation as specified by the FLSA.
Perhaps the most complicated aspect of the FLSA is determining which employees are exempt and which are non-exempt. Non-exempt employees are usually entitled to the minimum wage and overtime compensation protections provided by the FLSA. Although exempt employees do not receive the same types of protections as non-exempt employees, other laws may provide them with certain rights. Some of the most common FLSA “exempt” categories include employees who serve in executive, administrative, or professional capacities and those who work as outside salespeople. These categories typically include employees who are “white collar” workers and perform duties within an office where they may exercise their own independent judgment or discretion. Executives who are involved with the management of a business are also exempt under the FLSA. The FLSA also provides several other categories of employment across a wide variety of career fields and vocations that may make an employee exempt if certain criteria are met. These categories include teachers, academics, journalists, computer scientists, telephone operators, agricultural workers, employees working in the rail industry, fishermen, and employees of religious or non-profit camps and recreational facilities. An employee who works in any of these types of jobs must have the terms and conditions of his employment carefully analyzed in order to determine whether or not that employee may be considered exempt by the FLSA. Because there are a large number of factors to be considered when making this determination, it is important that an employee seeks the help of an experienced lawyer who can carefully evaluate the employee’s circumstances to help him exercise his rights. Furthermore, even if an employee is determined to be exempt under the FLSA, an experienced attorney can explain how his rights may be protected by an alternative law.
The FLSA provides specific provisions related to child labor. First, the FLSA prohibits oppressive child labor and requires that employers obtain proof of age from employees. The FLSA provides specific minimum wage rates for minors that are different than those for employees in general. The FLSA also provides guidelines on the specific types of tasks that child employees may perform based on their age. For instance, employees aged 16 and 17 are permitted to work near certain types of heavy machinery, but they are not allowed to operate this type of machinery themselves. Similarly, employees who are under 17 years of age are not allowed to drive vehicles on public roadways as part of their employment, even if they are legally licensed to drive, and employees who are 17 or older have restrictions on how they may drive while working. The FLSA also provides various other provisions for child employees who deliver newspapers or work in service or agricultural industries. Because the FLSA has many provisions related to unique aspects of child labor, it is important that the law is carefully examined prior to making a claim. An experienced employment attorney who has knowledge related to these special characteristics of child labor can use his skills to make these types of determinations and help assert you or your child’s rights.
If an employer is found to have violated the FLSA, he may be subject to many different penalties, and aggrieved employees may be able to recover damages. An employer may be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to up to six months in prison for each violation of the FLSA if convicted. Non-exempt employees who have not been paid an appropriate minimum wage or overtime wage can recover for their unpaid compensation plus interest. An employee who is successful in his FLSA claim can also recover reasonable attorney’s fees. In addition to the general provisions regarding violations of the FLSA, there are special penalties for violations involving child employees. For these types of violations, an employer can be fined up to $11,000, or $50,000 when the violation results in the death of a minor. These fines can be doubled if the court determines that the employer willfully violated the child protection provisions of the FLSA. An employer who is found to have violated the FLSA in a way that results in an employee being seriously injured may become liable to that employee for lost wages and other damages as well. Because the amount available to an aggrieved employee may be difficult to calculate based on the specific circumstances surrounding an incident, employees who become victims of FLSA violations are encouraged to contact an attorney for assistance with evaluating the amount they may recover for a successful FLSA claim.
Although the Fair Labor Standards Act is in place to protect employees’ rights, there are several complicated issues that must be evaluated when considering an FLSA claim. The attorneys at The Mark Law Firm, LLC are committed to ensuring that you are aware of your rights and know how to properly assert them. The Mark Law Firm, LLC have knowledge of the relevant laws and have the legal skills to help you exercise these rights if you have been treated unfairly under the FLSA. If you believe that you have been the victim of an FLSA violation, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible. Waiting too long can cause the statute of limitations to expire, eliminating your right to recover. Contact The Mark Law Firm, LLC to assess your case and guide you through your options.