3 Things You Should Know About the FLSA

Dec 18, 2017
By Peter Friedmann

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates that employers treat and pay workers fairly. Violations of the law permit employees to file formal complaints and lawsuits for the payment of back wages, unpaid overtime and other damages. Consulting with an experienced Columbus, Ohio FLSA attorney will help you understand how the FLSA operates in the workplace but everyone should know and understand the following:


1) The FLSA Covers More Than Overtime Pay Eligibility

People who have heard about the FLSA tend to think of it as the law that sets rules for determining who qualifies to receive overtime pay. It definitely does that- most importantly by establishing nationwide rules for classifying employees as exempt or nonexempt from overtime pay.  In other words, the FLSA establishes rules for who is entitled to overtime pay (non-exempt employees) and who is not entitled to overtime pay (exempt employees).  Those rules are subject to change so companies, agencies, or nonprofit organizations that have questions about how to classify workers as exempt or nonexempt for overtime should contact a FLSA lawyer.


Beyond establishing overtime eligibility, the FLSA also sets standards for:

  • Guaranteeing all employees get paid the minimum wage mandated by the laws of the state in which they work;
  • Fixing 40 hours as the maximum number of hours a nonexempt employee can work without getting paid overtime;
  • Requiring employers to keep detailed and accurate records of the hours each employee works and how much each employee gets paid;
  • Requiring employers to produce wage and hour records for inspection upon request;
  • Preventing children younger than 14 from working for wages outside of family-owned businesses and farms;

.         The formula used to calculate an individual’s hourly overtime pay rate, typically one and one-half of the employee’s hourly rate.


2) Your Employer Must Inform You of Your Rights Under the FLSA

The requirement that each employer informs each employee of his or her rights under the FLSA is probably the least-recognized provision of the law. Putting up posters that explain the minimum wage, overtime eligibility, and minimum working age rules can sometimes suffice to meet this requirement. Rules that implement the FLSA, however, make it clear that a manager or supervisor must truthfully answer an employee’s questions about pay, overtime, and hours.


3) You Cannot Get Fired or Demoted for Exercising Your FLSA Rights

An employer who retaliates against an employee for asking about or filing a complaint about a possible FLSA violation has broken the law. Retaliation against an employee for exercising his or her FLSA rights can take many forms, including

  • Firing,
  • Reassigning to a dirty or dangerous job,
  • Switching to an undesirable shift,
  • Demoting,
  • Denying a general pay raise,
  • Rescinding a bonus,
  • Denying a promotion or transfer for which the person has qualified, and
  • Abusing or harassing the worker verbally or physically.

Anyone in Ohio who has experienced retaliation after raising an issue related to the minimum wage, overtime, child labor, or hours worked should contact a FLSA attorney in Columbus to discuss their legal options for holding their employer accountable. The FLSA lawyers with The Friedmann Firm have helped workers in the capital city and in the areas of Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo, including the remainder of Ohio. Free and confidential consultations can be scheduled by calling 614.610.9755 or filling out this online contact form.