Thursday, February 7, 2019

New Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act

Those of you who regularly follow this blog will recall several recent accounts where contractors have been fined and have had to make restitution to employees for a variety of labor law violations. Some of these violations were no doubt intentional to save costs but some, no doubt, were inadvertent because the company was not fully versed on applicable labor laws. Some violations were uncovered during routine (random?) audits by the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) while others came about because of whistleblower activity. In many cases, employees know their "rights" better than their employers and that makes it doubly hard on small companies and contractors who cannot afford a dedicated HR (Human Resources) position or department.

To assist employers in understanding their duties and obligations, the WHD recently launched an online version of its "Handy Reference Gide to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA)". It covers minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments.

The chapters include:

  • Basic wage standards
  • Who is covered
  • Minimum wage
  • Exemptions
  • Youth employment
  • Record keeping
  • Nursing mothers
  • Overtime
  • Enforcement
  • Prohibitions against retaliation, and more
The Reference Guide is a PDF but contains dozens of links to other source documents, tools, videos, and instructions. 

It should be noted that in addition to the labor laws covered here, each state has its own spate of laws that in some cases are even more stringent that those enforced by the Labor Department. Sick leave and minimum wages are two that come to mind where many states have been more liberal than Federal laws.

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