Common Ways The FLSA Is Violated And Common Violators Of The FLSA

Countless Americans put in long hours and many work overtime without proper pay. Little understood is the law in place to protect Americans who put in extra hours but who don't see a paycheck in return. The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) was enacted in 1938 by the Roosevelt Administration and put in place to protect workers. There are myriad ways the FLSA can be violated:

  • One way the FLSA may be violated is if an employer fails to pay an employee who has worked "overtime." Under the statute, "overtime" is defined as a weekly total of over 40 hours, with a week being 7 consecutive days. The FLSA requires that most employees be paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.
  • Another way the FLSA can be violated is when employers require employees to work "off the clock" without pay. This can include requiring employees to attend pre-shift meetings, to take training classes that benefit the employer, or doing work after hours such as at night and on the weekends.
  • A third way the FLSA may be violated is if an employer incorrectly classifies an employee as an independent contractor. The FLSA does not require employees to pay overtime if the person hired is an independent contractor. Whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor is a fact intensive inquiry that does not simply stem from the title a person has. The court will consider factors such as the amount of control the employer has, the length of the employment, the level of specialization the hired person has, who provide the tools and whether the employer is engaged in the type of business for which the person was hired for.
  • A fourth way the FLSA can be violated is if an employer pays "comp time" instead of overtime. Comp time refers to when an employer allows an employee to take off work in exchange for working longer hours. Comp time is not considered a proper method of payment under the FLSA.

Common Violators

There are certain industries that tend to commonly violate the FLSA. These industries include the following:

  1. Full-service restaurants

  2. Fast food restaurants

  3. Hotels and motels

  4. Child day care services

  5. Gas station convenience stores

  6. Nursing homes

  7. Security guards

  8. Grocery stores

  9. Janitorial services

  10. Doctor's offices, healthcare providers

  11. Dry cleaners

  12. Construction and landscape companies

  13. Retail stores

  14. Customer service and call centers

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