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US Department of Labor Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Updated: Jan 16

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal labor law in the United States that establishes minimum wage, overtime pay eligibility, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in both the private and public sectors. Enacted in 1938, the FLSA is administered and enforced by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Key provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act include:

Minimum Wage:

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the federal minimum wage that covered non-exempt employees must be paid for each hour worked. States may also have their own minimum wage laws, and employers must comply with the higher of the two (federal or state) minimum wage rates.

Overtime Pay:

The FLSA requires employers to pay non-exempt employees overtime pay at a rate of at least one and a half times their regular rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. Certain exemptions apply to specific categories of employees.

Child Labor Protections:

The FLSA includes provisions to protect the rights of young workers. It sets limitations on the types of jobs and hours that minors (individuals under the age of 18) can perform, with stricter rules for younger workers.


Employers covered by the FLSA must maintain accurate records of employees' wages, hours worked, and other employment-related information. This includes details such as employee names, rates of pay, and hours worked.

Exemptions and Special Rules:

The FLSA outlines exemptions and special rules for certain categories of employees, including salaried employees, professionals, executives, and administrative employees. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay.

Equal Pay:

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibits wage discrimination based on gender. Employers must pay employees of the opposite sex the same rate for equal work on jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions.

The Fair Labor Standards Act aims to establish fair labor practices, promote economic well-being, and protect the rights of workers in the United States. It has been amended over the years to address changing workplace conditions and standards. Employers and employees are encouraged to be aware of the FLSA regulations relevant to their work situations to ensure compliance with federal labor laws.

See Also: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Handy Reference Guide

US Department of Labor Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
US Department of Labor Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)