Overtime Rights Under The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Provisions governing fair wage and overtime pay in Texas are contained in the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This sweeping act not only defines employer conduct but also helps employees understand their employment rights. FLSA overtime claims can be confusing. It is always wise to contact a FLSA attorney for guidance.
Unfortunately, many employers knowingly or unknowingly violate provisions governing overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act is administered by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) that oversees a host of responsibilities including:
- Minimum wage standards
- Overtime pay
- Record keeping
- Child Labor
FSLA applies to enterprises with employees that meet these standards:
- Engage in interstate commerce
- Produce goods for interstate commerce
- Transact at least $500,000 sales annually – exceptions exist
- Handle, sell or work on goods or materials that have been moved or produced for interstate commerce
FSLA also applies to:
- Hospitals regardless of sales volume
- Nursing homes
- Schools for disabled, challenged or gifted children
- Providers of preschool, secondary and higher education
- Federal, state and local government agencies
- Domestic workers, housekeepers, chauffer, cooks
- Certain full-time babysitters
It should be noted that there are notable exemptions to the overtime standards that many employees and employers do not fully understand.
In June, 2015, the Wage and hour Division released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update regulations governing overtime pay for white collar workers who work more than 40 hours in a workweek.
What Every Employee Should Know
More than 130 million full-time and part-time workers in the US fall under protections in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Qualified workers have a range of rights under this act and employers are bound to comply. Failure to comply is punishable under federal law as well as in civil courts by an FLSA attorney.
- The minimum wage is $7.25 per hour
- Youths under age 20 may be paid a minimum wage of $4.25 per hour
- Employers are prohibited from displacing an employee in favor of a youth earning less per hour.
- Employers can hire piece-rate workers but must pay at least the equivalent of the minimum hourly wage and overtime for hours in excess of 40 hours in a workweek.
- Employers of “tipped” workers who regularly receive more than $30 per month may consider tips as part of the employee wages.
- Unless exempt, employees in Texas and across the US must receive overtime pay for hours worked above 40 hours in a given workweek.
- The minimum standard for overtime pay is 1.5 times the regular hourly rate.
- There is no limit to the number of overtime hours an employee can work in a given workweek.
- Work on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays does not necessarily qualify as overtime unless the 40-hour workweek threshold has been met.
- An employee workweek must start at the same time and day each week and run for 168 consecutive hours (7 days x 24 hours).
- In most case, overtime hours should be paid at the regular payday.
- Some workers are exempt from minimum wage and overtime provisions.
Every employer in Texas is subject to minimum wage provisions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and must post a notice explaining FSLA in conspicuous places where employees can readily read the poster. Approved posters are available in most languages.
Under provisions in FSLA, employers are mandated to maintain accurate records for all full-time and part-time employees. These records must be on hand and ready for review by Department of Labor and Wage and Hour investigators.
Employees Have Rights
The Department of Labor requires compliance with FSLA provisions. When Wage and Hours investigators find violations, they have a variety of remedies at their disposal, including:
- Recommendations for changes in employment practices
- Request for payment of back wages
- Recommend that repeat offenders be fined and/or prosecuted
Employers can also be held responsible for back wages, overtime pay and severe penalties and fines.
Employees have the right to collect wages and can file claims for violations with the Wage and Hours Division. Employees can also file a private suit for up to two years of back pay.
Do I need a FLSA Attorney?
The warriors for justice at the Fort Worth laws firm of Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC, take all violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act seriously. If you or someone you know is owed back wages, a FLSA attorney at at Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC can help. Call us at 817-820-0100 to arrange a free and confidential review of your FLSA claim.
If you have a valid claim, we will make sure you are compensated and your employer complies with the law!