Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that governs what employers must pay as a minimum wage and overtime to employees, as well as child labor and recordkeeping. Although the FLSA applies in California and all other states, each state can pass laws that are more generous to employees. California has its own wage and hour laws, and so does the city of Los Angeles. If you are concerned about a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, you should consult the Los Angeles wage and hour lawyers at the Nourmand Law Firm.Your Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal wage and hour law. The FLSA provides that covered nonexempt workers must be paid a minimum wage of at least $7.25 an hour, which is significantly less than the state or Los Angeles minimum wage. Unless an employee is exempt, they must be paid overtime at a rate of 1½ times the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a work week under the FLSA. There is not a federal limit on the number of hours that employees 16 or older can work in a work week, and overtime is not required for working on holidays, regular rest days, or the weekend unless the time worked constitutes more than 40 hours of work in a work week. An employer is required to follow the law that is more generous to employees, and in most cases, the California wage and hour law is more generous than the FLSA.
Work weeks under the FLSA are fixed repeating periods of 168 hours or seven consecutive periods of 24 hours. This includes any time that you are required to be on the employer's premises or at a prescribed place of work, or on duty. Work weeks need not coincide with calendar weeks but can start on any day or hour. It is not acceptable for your employer to try to average your hours over two or more weeks in order to deny you overtime under the FLSA. Generally, overtime needs to be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which you earned your wages.
The FLSA applies to employees rather than independent contractors. To be employed under the FLSA is to be permitted or suffered to work. Work that you do is work time that must be compensated by the employer even if the employer did not ask you to work beyond your shift to do it. For example, if you stayed late one night to correct errors in a report, that extra time beyond your shift counts for the purposes of wage calculation.
Waiting time is more complicated and requires an analysis of the specific circumstances by your attorney. The issue is whether you have been engaged to wait. For example, if you are a fireman who cooks dinner in the fire station while waiting for an alarm, this time must be compensated. Similarly, if you are a security guard who reads while waiting for issues to arise, you must be compensated for that time. Any employee who is required to remain on call but can be at home or move about freely may not be compensated for the on-call time, but it depends on which constraints are placed on the employee during this time.
Under the FLSA, breaks of at least 20 minutes are counted as hours worked and paid. However, any time that you extend an authorized work break may not be considered hours worked if the employer clearly and explicitly told you that the authorized break would only last a specific set period, that extensions are against the rules, and that extensions are punished. In general, a bona fide meal period of at least 30 minutes in which you are totally relieved of your duties is not counted as work time under the FLSA.Seek Assistance from a Wage and Hour Attorney in the Los Angeles Area
Problems can occur under the FLSA if an employer fails to recognize certain hours worked as compensable hours. In most cases, however, California law applies, and it tends to be more generous than federal law. If you are concerned about violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Nourmand Law Firm may be able to counsel and represent you. Our attorneys provide knowledgeable and tenacious legal representation to workers who have been harmed in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and other areas of Los Angeles San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange Counties. Call us at 800-700-WAGE (9243) or contact us through our online form.