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Q&A: The Fair Labor Standards Act

Wages, Pay, and Benefits

Are periodic performance evaluations required?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), periodic performance evaluations are not required. Typically, performance evaluations occur only if an employer and employee (or a representative of the employee) comes to an agreement.

When are lunch breaks required?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has no provisions that make breaks of any kind a requirement for workers. However, some states have laws that allow workers to have breaks depending on the number of hours they have worked. If you work in a state that does not require employees to take lunch breaks legally, the employer and the employee must work out an agreement.

What can I do if I didn’t receive my last paycheck?

Depending on the state where you work, employers do not have to give their former employees their paycheck right away. With that being said, some states may have a requirement that forces employers to issue out payment immediately. In situations where the last payday for the last period where an employee worked has come and gone without payment, that employee can get into contact with the state labor department or the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The Department of Labor can also recover back wages.

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When are pay raises required?

Generally, pay raises are determined between the employer and the employee. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require pay raises that are above the federal minimum wage.

How are vacation pay, sick pay and holiday pay calculated and when are they due?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), payment is not required for days not worked such as sick leave, holidays and vacations. This also includes federal holidays. All pay for days off is agreed upon by the employer and the employer.

Overtime and Work Hours

How many hours is full-time & part-time employment?

As far as the Fair Labor Standards Act is concerned, there is no definition of what constitutes a full-time or part-time employee. This determination is made by the employer.

As an employee, can my scheduled hours of work be changed?

Except for specific child labor provisions, The Fair Labor Standards Act has no rules set in place to govern the scheduling of employees. Thus, an employer can legally change an employee’s work hours without asking for their consent or giving prior notice. The only exception to this rule is if the employer and the employee (or the employee’s representative) makes a prior arrangement.

When is overtime due?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has provisions set in place for covered, nonexempt employees. The requirements state that employees who work overtime must be paid at a rate of no less than one-half times an employee’s normal pay after working for more than 40 hours during a work week. Firefighters and police officers have some exceptions to the 40 hours per week standard. This also applies to employees who work in nursing homes and hospitals.

In some states, employees may be subject to overtime laws at both the state and federal levels. In such occurrences, the employee is entitled to whichever pays the higher rate.

Do employers have to pay extra for weekend or night work?

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to pay their employees extra pay for weekend or night work. This decision would ultimately boil down to individual agreements struck between the employer and the employee. There is one caveat, however, in that workers designated as nonexempt must be paid no less than time and one-half their regular pay rate for all time worked that exceeds 40 hours during any given work week.

How many hours per day/week can an employee work?

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not have any limitations set in place that determines the number of hours an employee (age 16 or older) can work per day/week.

Recordkeeping and notices

Are pay stubs required?

The FLSA does not have a requirement for an employer to provide a paystub for employees. However, many states do require employers to provide paystubs.

Are notices required for an employee who has been fired or laid off?

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not have any requirements regarding giving an employee notice prior to being terminated or laid off. In specific cases, employers must warn their employees of mass layoffs or plant closures. Depending on the state where you work, there may be requirements to notify employees of termination or layoffs.

You can learn more about the Fair Labor Standards Act on the Department of Labor’s website. You can also learn more on the Legal Information Institute’s website.

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