When you dreamed of running your own business, your visions probably included picking out cool logos, finding an awesome workspace and giving great customer service. It probably didn't include spending countless hours trying to understand wage and hour laws and staying compliant with them. Unfortunately, it's part of the cost of doing business and not staying compliant could mean losing thousands of dollars or even losing the company altogether.
The following is a brief overview of the Fair Labor Standards Act. To put it simply, the FLSA is a piece of legislation that governs overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor standards and record keeping. Here are some of its particulars:
- The minimum wage is 7.25 per hour.
- Overtime is required after 40 hours in any given workweek and is paid at one-and-a-half times the regular wage.
- Pay raises, premium payments, vacations, sick pay and fringe benefits are not required.
- The minimum working age without restrictions is 16.
Some employees are exempt from the wage and overtime requirements:
- Farm workers.
- "Casual" workers like babysitters or companions for the elderly.
- Professional, administrative and executive employees, which can include teachers and school administrators.
- Workers at some seasonal recreational or amusement companies.
- Employees on fishing operations.
- Newspaper delivery people.
This is just a small sampling. As you can see, the deeper you delve into the FLSA, the more complicated it becomes. That's why an attorney can be such an invaluable help to a small business. An employment law attorney knows these laws backward and forwards and can help you stay compliant.