5 Things To Know About Your Rights Under The FLSA
Employees have a wide variety of rights under state and federal labor laws, and it is important to know those rights in order to recognize when they may have been violated. Our experienced Harrisburg Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawyers want to say more about employee rights under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including rights to pay, to certain breaks, and to other protections. If you have questions, you should seek advice from a labor law attorney who can help. In the meantime, the following are five things to know about your rights under the FLSA.
- Minimum Wage Requirements
Under the FLSA, employees are entitled to receive a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. While some states have a higher minimum wage than the federal rate, Pennsylvania’s state minimum wage matches with the federal rate at $7.25 per hour. However, the minimum wage is set to increase in the state, at which point employees should know that they are entitled to the higher state minimum wage. In addition to paying the minimum wage for hours worked, employers cannot reduce an employee’s wages with certain deductions that would bring their hourly rate below the minimum wage. Generally speaking, deductions that are made for the employer’s benefit cannot reduce the employee’s wage below $7.25 per hour. A common example is for uniforms. While an employer can require an employee to wear a uniform, the employer cannot deduct from the employee’s wages to cover the cost of the uniform if the deduction results in the employer earning less than $7.25 per hour.
Some employees are exempt from minimum wage pay, such as executive, administrative, and professional employees.
- Overtime Pay
Employees who are not exempt are also entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA for all hours worked beyond the 40-hour workweek. Overtime pay must be paid at time-and-a-half of the employee’s regular hourly rate. For example, if an employee earns $10 per hour, overtime hours would need to be paid at time-and-a-half of that amount, or $15 per hour.
- Wages for Tipped Employees
Employees who are classified as “tipped employees” must regularly earn more than $30 each month in tips. When an employee is a tipped employee, the employer must still pay direct wages of at least $2.13 per hour to the tipped employee, and if the employee’s total tips do not add up—along with the direct wages paid—to the required minimum wage, then the FLSA requires the employer to make up any difference to that a tipped employee is earning minimum wage.
- Rest Breaks
While the FLSA does not require employers to offer meal or rest breaks, when the employer does allow breaks, the employee has certain rights. Short breaks that last from about 5 to 20 minutes are compensable, and the employee must be paid for that time. Meal periods, which usually last 30 minutes or more, are not compensable, but the employer must avoid requiring any work tasks during that meal period. If the employer requires the employee to do any work during a meal period, then the employee must be paid.
- Nursing Mothers
Nursing mothers have a right to a reasonable break time to express breast milk, and employers must provide an appropriate space for a nursing mother to use for this purpose.
Seek Advice from a Labor Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you believe your rights may have been violated, you should seek advice from one of our Harrisburg labor law attorneys today. Contact Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. to learn more.