What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor standards which affect some 69.7 million employees in private firms, 8.5 million employees of State and local Governments, and 2.4 million federal Government employees.

What does the FLSA require employers to do?

The FLSA does require employers to:

-- pay at least the current minimum wage to all covered and nonexempt employees for all hours worked;

-- pay at least one and one-half times their regular rates of pay to all covered and nonexempt employees for all hours worked over 40 in the workweek;

-- comply with its child labor standards;

-- comply with its recordkeeping requirements.

What the FLSA does not do.

The FLSA does not require employers to provide:

-- vacation, holiday, severance or sick pay;

-- lunch breaks, rest periods, holidays off, or vacations;

-- premium pay for weekend or holiday work;

-- pay raises or fringe benefits;

-- a discharge notice, reason for discharge, or immediate payment of final wages to terminated employees.

These matters are for agreement between employers and employees or their authorized representatives. Sometimes they may be required by a State law.


About holidays...

Compliance with the FLSA is determined on a workweek basis, which is a fixed and regularly recurring period of seven consecutive 24-hour periods. When a State or federal holiday falls within a workweek, it is treated no differently by the FLSA than other days within that week.

Employers may require employees to work on State and federal holidays at regular pay or with premium pay, or they may give their workers a holiday off, either with pay or without pay.

Under the FLSA, overtime pay is required for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Only those hours actually worked on a holiday are counted for overtime pay purposes; that is, holiday hours which are paid for but not worked are not counted as hours worked in determining whether overtime pay is due in that workweek.

State holidays are established by the states, and they differ from state to state. Federal holidays are established by the Congress and apply only to the federal establishment, although many of them are generally observed.

Holidays observed by the federal government are:

New Years Day

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday

President's Day

Memorial Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veterans Day

Thanksgiving Day

Christmas Day

For more information...

Contact the nearest office of the Wage and Hour Division, listed in most telephone directories under U.S. Government, Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration.

The Office of Personnel Management administers the FLSA as it pertains to most federal government employees.


modified from the U.S. Dept Of Labor Employment Standards

Administration Fact Sheet No. ESA 91-1