Fair labor standards

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
The Fair Labor Standards Act, also known as FLSA (F-L-S-A), is perhaps one of the most complex and important employment laws in effect as it governs a worker's right to be paid fairly. The provisions under the Act set the minimum standards for both wages and overtime entitlement, defines the 40-hour workweek, places restrictions on child labor, and requires that male and female workers receive equal pay for work that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility. The Fair Labor Standards Act applies to all employers whose annual sales total $500,000 (five hundred thousand dollars) or more, or who are engaged in interstate commerce. A few employers, including small farms and those that use relatively little outside paid labor, are explicitly exempt from the law. Exempt status also applies to certain types of employees, such as executives, administrators, professionals, highly skilled employees in computer-related occupations, and other types of employees, like full-time students and apprentices. Exemptions are generally narrowly defined under the FLSA, so it's recommended that you carefully check the exact terms and conditions for each. Any covered employer who violates the provisions under the FLSA can be held liable to the employee or employees affected in the amount of the unpaid minimum wages, the unpaid overtime compensation, or other additional damages. Be mindful that in addition to federal fair labor standards, an employer must also comply with other local or state employment laws that set higher standards.

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