The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.
Employers often misclassify employees as independent contractors, recently in the fracking industry. When an employee is misclassified, the company does not pay overtime, travel time, FICA, unemployment insurance or workers compensation premiums. The Department of Labor has initiated an investigation specific to the natural gas industry in the northeastern states for failure to pay overtime, pay for travel time, and maintaining records of hours worked. Misclassified workers are also denied protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The FLSA states that employees who work over forty hours a week are entitled to overtime pay unless exempt. Overtime must be paid at a rate of at least one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for each hour worked in a workweek in excess of the maximum allowable in a given type of employment. Generally, the regular rate includes all payments made by the employer to or on behalf of the employee (except for certain statutory exclusions).
Employees working in shipping, fishing, and other maritime industries may operate under different overtime regulations. These individuals often put in long hours on the docks or aboard ships, which may require them to work beyond their contracted hours and maybe eligible for overtime pay going back two or three years under federal law.
Complaints under the Fair Labor Standards Act may be filed directly in court within two years.
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