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4 Things to Know About the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)

It can certainly get overwhelming for employers to stay in compliance with all applicable labor laws. Some apply to nearly every company, while others only apply to larger ones. One that your company will almost certainly apply to your company is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The notable provisions of this federal law set the federal minimum wage and overtime rate. Below, we lay out four important things for Florida employers to understand.

1. There are very few employers exempt from the FLSA.

Any given worker in Florida is protected by a variety of federal, state, and sometimes local laws. What can get confusing, though, is that many labor laws do not apply to all employers. There are a few exceptions for the FLSA, but they are extremely few and far between. Businesses that engage in interstate commerce—nearly all businesses—or ones that generate at least $500,000 in annual sales must abide by the FLSA.

The monetary penalties for FLSA noncompliance depends on the specific infraction(s). For example, the civil penalties for minimum wage or overtime violations can total $1,000 per infraction and $2,074 for repeated and willful violations. These penalties are in addition to back wages and, possibly, attorney’s fees.

2. The FLSA minimum wage, as of June 2021, is $7.25.

While there have been talks of raising the federal minimum hourly wage to as much as $15, nothing has been passed in Congress or signed into law. Tipped employees—defined as those who “customarily and regularly” receive at least $30 a month in tips—have a base pay of $2.13 per hour. The Florida minimum wage in 2021 is $8.65 for hourly employees and $5.63 for tipped employees.

3. The FLSA requires employers to prominently display posters informing employees of their rights.

Depending on which federal laws your business operates under, you will probably have to display several posters at the office. The FLSA requires you to display a poster that informs employees of the federal minimum wage ($7.25) and other protections, like overtime pay and tip credit. This “Employee Rights” poster also has information for nursing mothers and resources for employees to use if their rights are violated.

4. Under the FLSA, employers are required to keep extensive records.

The information employers are required to keep on employees subject to either the minimum wage or overtime pay provisions (or both) include:

  • The name, home address, job title, sex, and birthdate (if under 19 years of age) of employees;
  • The hour and day when of the beginning of each workweek;
  • The total hours worked by employees each workday and workweek;
  • The total daily or weekly straight-time earnings;
  • The regular hourly rate for any week when employees work overtime;
  • All workweeks’ total overtime pay;
  • Wage deductions or additions;
  • The total wages paid each pay period; and
  • The date of payment and pay period covered.

Employers must keep some of these records for three years, and others for just two years. Generally, willful FLSA violations can result in $10,000 in civil fines per violation. Additionally, not having pertinent records can substantially weaken your case if the DOL or an employee brings a claim against your business.


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