On June 25, 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a landmark bill into law, and it would come to impact social and economic development in the U.S. Entitled the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), the bill first represented only a fraction of the labor force—about one-fifth—and only applied to certain industries. But the law took aim at oppressive child labor and ensured a minimum hourly wage of 25 cents, as well as a 44-hour maximum workweek.
A quarter of a dollar for every hour worked may seem like a small price to pay, especially upon hearing the fact that many executives of the time made upwards of a $1000 a day, but the strife and resistance this bill met was great.
In fact, one of the biggest obstacles to this child-labor and wage-hour laws was the Supreme Court. In 1918’s Hammer v. Dagenhart, the Court held the federal child-labor law as unconstitutional, and in the 1923 case of Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, the Court voided a law set by the District of Columbia where a minimum wage was set for women.
Following these devastating blows to the American worker, especially the working woman and child, there were many more defeats for fair wages, child-labor restrictions, and maximum work-weeks through the years until, on March 29, 1937 when the West Coast Hotel Company v. Parrish case was decided. This case was brought by Elsie Parrish, a former employee at the Cascadian Hotel. Elsie was suing for $216.19 in back wages. She was charging that her employer had paid her less than the state-mandated minimum wage. The case in itself was not monumental, but the outcome was. Justice Owen Roberts unexpectedly voted with the four-man liberal minority to rule in Elsie’s favor and uphold the minimum wage law.
This ruling helped change the tide in labor law, which would eventually lead to President Roosevelt passing the FLSA law that created fair wages, child-labor laws, and maximum workweeks, which would come to shape the American working landscape that we know today.
FLSA Compliance Categories
Modern-day FLSA compliance categories include adherence to a minimum wage, youth employment parameters, and record keeping. These standards and categories of compliance cover nonexempt employees in the private work sector as well as in state, federal, and local government.
- FLSA Minimum Wage: As of July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 per hour. Many states also have minimum wage laws, so when an employee is subject to both federal and state minimum wage laws, the employee is always entitled to the higher of the two minimum wages.
- Hours Worked: The hours an employee works include all time that an employee is required to work, be on the work premises, on duty, or otherwise at a prescribed workplace.
- Child Labor: Child labor provisions are in place to protect the educational opportunities of minors as well as to keep them away from employment where conditions are detrimental to health and well-being. There is no limit to the number of hours employees 16 years or older may work in any given workweek.
- FLSA Overtime: The overtime requirements covered under FLSA rules include overtime pay for any hours worked over the set 40 per workweek. This also covers the time periods of regularly occurring and fixed recurring periods of 168 hours or 7 consecutive 24-hour periods. The compensation rate is set at no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. The FLSA law does not require overtime pay for work on holidays, weekends, regular days, or holidays, unless overtime is worked on such days.
- Recordkeeping: All employers are subject to compliance through record keeping. They must display an official poster outlining the requirements of the FLSA. Employers must keep employee time and pay records.
Compliance through Recordkeeping
Here at eFileCabinet, our goal is to make compliance and record keeping as easy as possible for every employer through user-friendly and budget-friendly platforms such as our on-site and cloud-based document management system (DMS), SecureDrawer, and more.
A DMS can help you obtain compliance by allowing you to easily record, maintain, retrieve, and properly dispose of all employee time and pay records. You can do all of this in addition to saving the time spent on records keeping, thus lowering the time and money your company puts towards this endeavor.
With a DMS you can set up parameters to automatically e-file records, safely share documents and records with other employees within your organization, and create an audit trail where you can see who has accessed records, who has made edits, and what edits have been made. Plus, you’ll save space by ridding yourself of bulky filing cabinets. Give us 15 minutes today to show you a personalized demonstration of how our products can help you stay FLSA compliant.