The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) includes many protections for workers that employers must comply with. Many of these cover wages and similar matters. Employers who have clear pay standards and policies might be less likely to face legal action because of violations of this act.
There are five primary areas that the FLSA covers – recordkeeping, child labor, minimum wage, overtime and hours worked. Understanding each of these is important because issues can come from any of these areas.
As an employer, you have to keep accurate records about employee pay and the number of hours they work. These are important because they provide you with the information you’ll need if a legal case is ever brought against your company.
When it comes to the hours worked, you must pay the employee for all hours. If they’re doing anything for the business, the hours count. One important distinction that some employers don’t usually remember has to do with breaks. Employees who are “on call” during their break period must be paid for that break.
For example, a restaurant cashier must be paid for their lunch break if they’re expected to remain in the restaurant and ring up customer’s orders during their lunch period. They wouldn’t have to be paid if they were free to leave the building and not expected to work at all during the break.
The records that your company keeps regarding the number of hours is important if workers are claiming that they have to work hours they don’t get paid for. You also need the pay information, so you can verify that they are getting paid. If you are the subject of a legal claim, be sure to reach out to your company’s counsel for assistance.