What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA Law)?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a set of federal laws that makes sure you are paid fairly for the time you work.
- The minimum hourly amount you can be paid for your work
- When you must be paid overtime
- The form of your payment and when you must be paid
- Gender equality in wages and benefits
- Comp time
- Child labor
In addition to the above, if you are a nursing mother, for up to one year after giving birth, the FLSA requires that you be provided with a reasonable amount of time and a private location (not a bathroom) as often as you need to express milk.
A few things that the FLSA does not cover are:
- Limits to the number of hours you can work per week—unless you are under the age of 16
- Vacation, holiday, severance and sick pay
- Time off or extra pay for working holidays or vacations
- Termination of your employment
- Increases in compensation and fringe benefits
California has more generous laws that federal requirements and they are:
In California, you must be paid at least $9.00 per hour. On January 1, 2016, this will increase to $10.00 per hour.
If you are an overtime eligible employee, you must receive time and a half if you work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. If you work more than 12 hours, you must be paid double time.
As we talked about in our scenario above, tip credits are not allowed in California. Regardless of how much you make in tips, your employer must also pay you the full minimum wage for every hour you work.
Meal and Rest Breaks
Meal and rest breaks can be quite complicated to navigate. California law says you must be receive an unpaid 30-minute meal break after you’ve been working for five hours, but you may waive this break in writing if you’ll only be working for six hours. You must be given a second 30-minute meal break after ten hours, unless your shift is only 12 hours and, if you waived your first meal break, you can’t waive the second one. If the nature of your work doesn’t allow you to step away for a meal break, you can take an on-duty paid meal break, but you must waive that right in writing.
You also must receive a paid 10-minute rest break for every four hours you work. Workers work for compensation. Employers who refuse that compensation are not playing by the rules.