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What is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act?

As we have talked about numerous times on this blog, every employee has rights. Even if they are an "at-will" employee, the individual has rights that protect them from predatory, discriminatory, or otherwise illegal activity on the part of the employer. Along these lines, today we want to talk about the Fair Labor Standards Act, an important law that governs how employees need to be treated.

One of the critical points featured in the Fair Labor Standards Act is that any covered and nonexempt employees that work more than 40 hours in a work week must be paid time and a half for the work done beyond the 40-hour mark. It does not, however, guarantee extra pay for weekend or night work (unless that work exceeds the 40-hour mark).

The Fair Labor Standards Act also doesn't cover how frequently pay raises must be given, nor does it govern sick or holiday pay. Those are covered as a matter of agreement between the employee and the employer.

In general, you should think of the Fair Labor Standards Act as a basic set of rules -- a foundation upon which all of your rights as an employee are built. When these rights come under attack or are undermined by a negligent employer, then the affected employee needs to consider his or her legal options. Often times, a lawsuit that upholds your rights and presents strong evidence against a negligent employer leads to a favorable outcome (even if it isn't an in-court decision) that supports your interests.

Source: FindLaw, "Q&A: The Fair Labor Standards Act," Accessed Dec. 11, 2017

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