Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Legal Definitions: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The “Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)” is a United States federal law first enacted in 1938. It establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.

Key Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act

  • Minimum Wage: The FLSA sets the federal minimum wage that employers must pay to employees. This rate is subject to change by Congress.
  • Overtime Pay: The act requires that employees who work more than 40 hours in a week be paid at least one and one-half times their regular pay rate for the overtime hours.
  • Recordkeeping: Employers are required to keep accurate records of employees’ wages, hours, and other conditions and practices of employment.
  • Child Labor Regulations: The FLSA contains provisions designed to protect the educational opportunities of minors and prohibit their employment in jobs under conditions detrimental to their health or well-being.
  • Exemptions: Certain employees are exempt from the minimum wage, overtime pay, or both. This includes executive, administrative, professional, and some other categories of employees.

The enforcement of the FLSA is carried out by the U.S. Department of Labor. Violations of the FLSA can result in legal and financial penalties for employers.

The FLSA is a foundational piece of labor legislation in the United States, and it has been amended multiple times since its inception to address evolving labor standards and economic conditions.