ABCs of Employment Regulation: The Truthful Exertions Requirements Act (minimal salary) | Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

NOTE FROM ROBIN: In March, I started a sequence of very fundamental explanations of the federal regulations that govern the place of work. The primary installment lined discrimination generally, the second one installment lined spiritual lodging, and the 3rd installment lined retaliation. My subsequent two posts shall be concerning the minimal salary and additional time provisions of the Truthful Exertions Requirements Act. If there’s a matter that you would like to look lined, please ship me an electronic mail or go away a remark right here.

For those two FLSA posts, I need to thank Jim Coleman, co-chair of our company’s Salary and Hour Observe Team, for retaining me at the directly and slim. I may just now not have written those posts with out his substantive experience and editorial help.

The Truthful Exertions Requirements Act is a federal legislation that units the minimal requirements for 3 units of necessities: (1) minimal salary, (2) additional time, and (3) kid hard work. This put up will focal point at the minimal salary necessities, and subsequent week I’ll speak about additional time.

“The naked minimal”

Employers must call to mind the FLSA minimal salary provisions as a “ground.” Many states, towns, and counties have the next minimal salary than the FLSA minimal of $7.25 an hour. Employers should pay staff in the ones states or localities the absolute best acceptable minimal salary.

If an worker is “non-exempt” — which I’ll speak about within the additional time put up — and lined simplest by way of the FLSA, the employer should pay a minimum of the federal minimal salary ($7.25 an hour) for every hour labored. Easy sufficient, proper? If I’m non-exempt, and I paintings 40 hours in a workweek, then the FLSA will require my employer to pay me gross wages of a minimum of $290 for that week ($7.25 occasions 40).

Commonplace employer errors

Minimal salary is so easy! How can an employer reduce to rubble? Sadly, in numerous techniques. Commonplace errors come with the next:

Now not paying for all “hours labored.” If an worker’s hourly fee is on the subject of the minimal, and the employer doesn’t pay for the entire worker’s “hours labored,” then that might take the worker’s common hourly fee for the workweek underneath the minimal. Now not cool. Keep in mind, minimal salary compliance is made up our minds by way of dividing the whole of all directly time wages paid for the workweek by way of the whole of all hours labored all through that very same workweek. The end result should be $7.25 or upper.

Even supposing the employer’s mentioned hourly pay fee is $7.25 an hour or extra, there generally is a minimal salary violation if the employer does not pay the worker for all hours labored. The ones hours labored for 0 greenbacks may just deliver the worker’s common fee underneath $7.25 an hour.

As an example, generally the time an worker spends commuting from house to the place of work isn’t “hours labored” underneath the FLSA. But when the boss calls the worker on her travel to lend a hand her get a head get started on her newest project, then that travel time would generally turn into compensable as a result of now the worker is “operating” whilst commuting. If it’s “paintings,” the worker needs to be paid for that point, and failure to pay may just deliver the worker’s common fee for the week underneath the minimal.

This Reality Sheet from the U.S. Division of Exertions has extra details about figuring out what are “hours labored.”

Flawed deductions. Some issues may also be deducted from an worker’s pay, and a few issues can’t. If an employer makes salary deductions that shouldn’t had been made (as an example, for required protection apparatus or for required uniforms), then the impact of the ones flawed deductions may well be to take the worker’s common fee underneath the minimal.


Off-clock paintings. I do know that none of our expensive readers would do that, and it isn’t in point of fact a “mistake” in any respect. However there are a couple of dangerous apple employers who would possibly not let their staff document all in their hours labored. Even worse, the workers are ceaselessly low-wage staff, so it is vitally simple for the off-clock paintings to deliver the worker’s hourly fee underneath the minimal when the unrecorded time is factored in. (As soon as the employer will get stuck.)

Or even moral employers want to be careful for off-clock paintings, once in a while from their easiest staff. A devoted non-exempt worker who remains overdue one night to lend a hand out in a crunch however doesn’t put the time down, announcing, “Oh, I used to be glad to do it – no drawback in any respect!” might be placing the employer in danger for a minimal salary violation for the reason that definition of compensable time is so extensive.

Lazy recording of time. Employers and staff – particularly “salaried non-exempt” staff – can each be accountable of this. Here is an instance. The usual workweek is 40 hours, or 8 hours an afternoon, 5 days every week. The manager is in a pickle, and the worker works thru his lunch hour every day to get the duty achieved . . . and doesn’t take day off in that very same workweek to offset the misplaced lunch hours. On the finish of the week, the worker with out considering fills out his time card as 8-8-8-8-8, overall of 40 hours, similar as at all times. However this week he in fact labored 45 hours. That would possibly not take his common hourly pay fee underneath the minimal salary, however it would. 

Are you additionally seeing additional time issues of those eventualities? Me too. However this put up has long past on too lengthy already, so I’ll speak about additional time subsequent week. Don’t pass away!