The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates employee wage and hour rights for American workers. However, the FLSA does not cover all payment inquiries — pay for leave and breaks during the work day is not governed by the rules established in the FLSA.
What Is and Is Not Covered by the FLSA?
The FLSA was enacted to ensure employees receive fair wages and are properly compensated for the work they perform. The main wage and hour concerns that the FLSA addresses are minimum wage and overtime pay. The law outlines a federal minimum wage amount and created the “time and a half” rate that is considered as acceptable pay for employees who work more than 40 hours during a work week.
Although the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed as a way to regulate pay rates, it lacks any requirements for rights when an employee is not working.
FLSA exemptions in relation to time off the clock include:
- Vacation / paid time off
- Pay for holidays
- Severance pay
- Paid sick time
- Lunch breaks and other breaks during the day
Because time that an employee is not performing work is not regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers are free to establish their own policies in relation to payment during time off and breaks. This means some companies allow for paid time off for vacations and holidays, and others do not, while some offer additional payment if an employee works on those days.
The Fair Labor Standards Act does not regulate pay rates during lunch periods or other daytime breaks, unless the break is for a breastfeeding mother. Under the FLSA, employers are required to provide paid break times for nursing mothers, as well as a space where mothers can breastfeed in private.
Aside from the exemptions that are outlined above, you are entitled to certain rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act as an employee in the United States and your employer could be held liable for violating those rights. If you have a wage and hour claim, contact Donati Law, PLLC to schedule a consultation.To get in touch with our attorneys, call (901) 209-5500 or use our contact form.