What Is the FLSA?

HR Resource
August 6, 2012 — 2,523 views  
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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that employers are required to provide non-exempt workers at least the federal minimum wage. Additionally, these businesses must compensate employees who work overtime at a rate of one-and-a-half times the regular rate of pay.

These represent a few of the guidelines an organization must follow to comply with FLSA regulations. Consider the following to ensure your business can avoid federal fees and penalties.

1. Age restrictions

Children under age 16 are restricted in the number of hours they can perform work in non-agricultural operations. Agricultural businesses have extra restrictions, as they cannot hire kids under age 16 during school hours. Meanwhile, kids under age 18 cannot accept agricultural jobs that are deemed too dangerous.

You should consider the age of applicants when reviewing candidates for a vacant position. While plenty of kids might want to work as many hours as possible, the FLSA limits how many hours these children are eligible to work during the school year.

2. Salary basis test

Employers might consider offering a set amount of compensation each week to workers. This salary gives staff members a guaranteed minimum amount of money they will receive during any week, based on the tasks they perform.

However, you'll want to make sure you indicate whether a worker's salary is computed from an annual figure divided by the total number of paydays throughout the year, or if the pay is less than the total number of hours a staff member works. Completing an in-depth evaluation could prove valuable, as it is necessary to successfully determine which option allows you to comply with FLSA standards. Employees must have a guaranteed minimum compensation they can rely on each week.

3. Exempt vs. non-exempt

You'll want to review whether your employees are considered exempt or non-exempt when it comes to FLSA regulations. There are exemptions for administrators and learned professionals as defined by FLSA criteria, and each segment of workers has various rights.

Exempt staff members basically have no rights at all, as these workers are entitled to receive the full amount of the base salary in any time frame during which they perform any work. Non-exempt employees have additional privileges, and may receive one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for each hour they actually perform tasks over the applicable FLSA overtime threshold during a work period. 

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