Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Fair Labor Standards Act
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The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) is a federal law designed to regulate employers who engage in “interstate commerce”. An employer is engaged in interstate commerce if any of his goods or services may become entangled in the commerce of another state. Basically it’s most businesses in Illinois.
This Act mandates that employers must comply with rules concerning the following:
- Minimum standards for wages
- Overtime pay
- Child labor
- Equal pay
However, some employers may qualify to be exempted from the Act.
Minimum standards for wages:
All employers engaged in interstate commerce must pay their employees according to the federally mandated minimum wage.
Recent amendments to the FLSA include a spending bill signed by President Bush on May 25, 2007. This spending bill seeks to increase minimum wage in increments as follows:
- $5.85 per hour effective on July 24, 2007;
- $6.55 per hour effective on July 24, 2008;
- $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.
The FLSA requires that employers engaged in interstate commerce must pay their employees time and half for every hour worked over 40 hours in a week. There are many exceptions to this rule which are best shown on our overtime page.
The FLSA prohibits employers engaged in interstate commerce from employing oppressive child labor. This part of the Act is designed to protect the educational opportunities of a child, while also preventing them from working in hazardous conditions.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed as an amendment to the FLSA. This Act makes it illegal for employers to pay lower wages to employees based on the employee’s sex. It is generally viewed as an attempt to remedy the wage gap between men and woman.
Exemptions to the FLSA:
Although most employers engaged in interstate commerce must obey the FLSA, some qualify for exemptions from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Act. Although there are numerous exemptions, the most common applies to executive, administrative and professional employees.
For more detailed information concerning the FLSA, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor website at: http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/flsa. If you have questions or would like an attorney referral, please call us at (312) 346-5320or completer our contact us form.
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