The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects all employees working throughout the United States. It guarantees things like a minimum wage (which is currently set at $7.25 per hour) access to social security, and premium compensation for all overtime worked. The FLSA also defines overtime as all overtime spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week.
The FLSA does allow certain workers to be held exempt from these protections, but it is very specific about the qualifications workers must meet in order to be held exempt. The Act provides employees with these protections because employers generally have much more leverage than their workers, especially workers earning minimum wage. The Act therefore withholds these protections only from employees that have sufficient leverage to negotiate their own terms of work. These employees include salaried administrative assistants, executive employees, professional employees, and independent contractors. Continue reading ›