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  • Writer's pictureS. Anne Marie Archer

Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and 3 ways that your Employer may be violating your FLSA rights!

Updated: 7 days ago

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is important to consult with legal professionals for guidance on specific legal matters.

Results on engagements and online courses may vary, successful outcome is not guaranteed.

In the realm of employment law in the United States, one of the cornerstones ensuring fair treatment of workers is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Enacted in 1938, the FLSA stands as a crucial safeguard against exploitation and unfair labor practices, setting standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor, and recordkeeping. Its significance transcends time, making it imperative for every employee to understand its provisions and protections.



What is the FLSA and Why Does it Exist?


The Fair Labor Standards Act was introduced to address rampant exploitation of workers during the Great Depression. Its primary objectives are to ensure fair compensation for labor, protect the rights of workers, and regulate employment conditions across various industries. By establishing standards for wages and working hours, the FLSA aims to promote economic stability and social justice.



Key Provisions and Beneficiaries


1.   Minimum Wage: The FLSA sets a federal minimum wage, currently standing at $7.25 per hour. It's crucial to note that some states have set their minimum wage rates higher than the federal level, providing additional protection for workers.

2.   Overtime Pay: Under the FLSA, employees are entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of at least one and a half times their regular hourly rate for hours worked beyond 40 hours per week. This provision ensures that employees are fairly compensated for any additional time they put into their work.

3.   Child Labor Protections: The FLSA includes strict regulations on the employment of minors, ensuring their health, education, and overall well-being are safeguarded. These protections are vital for maintaining a balance between education and work for young individuals.

Which Employers are required to follow the FLSA?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to most employers in the United States. Specifically, it covers:

1. Enterprise Coverage: Businesses with at least two employees and annual sales or business of at least $500,000 are subject to the FLSA. This includes hospitals, businesses providing medical or nursing care for residents, schools, preschools, and government agencies.

2. Individual Coverage: Even if a business does not meet the criteria for enterprise coverage, individual employees may still be covered by the FLSA if they are engaged in interstate commerce or the production of goods for interstate commerce. This includes employees who are engaged in activities such as producing goods that will be sent out of state, handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved in or produced for interstate commerce, or regularly using the mail, telephone, or internet for interstate communication.

It's important to note that some employees may be exempt from certain provisions of the FLSA based on their job duties, salary level, or industry. However, the vast majority of employers in the United States are required to follow the FLSA's minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor, and recordkeeping provisions.


Here are 3 ways that Employers often violate the FLSA


1.   Misclassification of Employees

Some employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors to evade providing benefits or paying overtime. Others may misclassify hourly workers as salaried workers also in order to avoid paying overtime. This practice is a blatant violation of the FLSA and can result in significant financial losses for affected workers.


2.   Unpaid Overtime

Failure to compensate employees for overtime work is a prevalent violation of the FLSA. Employers must accurately track and compensate employees for any extra hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek.


3.   Off-the-Clock Work

Employers may pressure employees to work off the clock or during breaks, denying them rightful compensation. This practice not only violates the FLSA but also undermines the value of employees' time and effort.


Asserting Rights and Seeking Redress


1.   Document Everything

Keep meticulous records of hours worked, pay statements, and any instances of potential FLSA violations using tools like the AntiHR® Documentation journal. Detailed documentation strengthens your case when asserting your rights.

2.   Educate Yourself

Enroll in the AntiHR® online master course titled "How to ask for an exit from a discriminatory hostile workplace with cash and actually get it." This course equips you with the knowledge and strategies to navigate employment challenges and exit discriminatory hostile environments with compensation.

3.   Contact the AntiHR® Consultancy

Schedule a discovery call with the AntiHR® consultancy for personalized guidance on addressing FLSA violations effectively. They can provide insights and strategies tailored to your specific situation.

4.   Report Violations

If you believe your employer is violating the FLSA, file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor. You can do this online, by mail, or by contacting your local WHD office. Provide detailed information about the alleged violations to initiate an investigation.


a.   Filing a Complaint with WHD

When filing a complaint with the WHD, include essential details such as your employer's name, address, and a description of the alleged violations. The WHD will investigate your complaint and take appropriate action to enforce FLSA compliance.


5.   Other Options

If an informal resolution such as requesting a negotiated separation with severance, fails, retaliation occurs, and/or violations persist, consider seeking legal representation to pursue further action against your employer. An attorney specializing in employment law can guide your legal rights and options.


Taking Action: Resources for Empowerment


In cases of FLSA violations, employees have the right to seek redress and ensure their rights are upheld. Utilize resources such as the AntiHR® Documentation Journal for effective documentation and the AntiHR® master course "How to ask for an exit from a discriminatory hostile workplace with cash and actually get it", to empower yourself with knowledge and strategies. Remember, understanding and asserting your rights under the FLSA is essential for maintaining fair treatment in the workplace.

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Additionally, effective documentation is key to building a case against discrimination.  


Grab access to the AntiHR Documentation Journal equips individuals with the tools to document workplace injustices effectively.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) serves as a cornerstone of labor rights in the United States, providing essential protections for workers across various industries. By understanding its provisions and knowing how to assert their rights, employees can ensure fair treatment in the workplace and uphold the principles of economic justice and dignity for all.


For more tips about navigating and escaping difficult HR situations,

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