A Guide to Your Rights as a Minimum Wage Worker
The Fair Labor Standards Act governs employment law in San Jose through federal minimum wage provisions. As of July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. However, many states have their own minimum wage laws, with some states providing greater employee protections.
1. Covered Employees
The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor standards throughout the country. While states can implement a higher minimum wage, they must also comply with the federal minimum wage standards. The employment law provisions of the FLSA apply to businesses with employees who participate in interstate commerce, produce goods for interstate commerce, or work with goods that have been moved in or produced in the stream of interstate commerce. However, the Act does not regulate hospitals, institutions engaged in the care of sick, schools, or institutions of higher education. As a result, these types of employees must file their wage claims under other legal remedies.
2. Basic Provisions
The Act requires covered employers to compensate their employees a minimum wage of $7.25. Additionally, employers cannot pay workers under the age of 20 less than $4.25 an hour during the first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment. It is also illegal for an employee to displace a separate employee to hire a youth worker. Even though employers may pay on a piece-rate basis, employees can file hour claims if they don’t receive the equivalent of the required minimum hourly wage rate and overtime. While the Act does not limit the number of overtime hours an employee can work, it does require employers to compensate employees at least one and one-half times their regular pay rate for overtime pay.
3. Penalties and Sanctions
An employee can speak with an employment attorney about FSLA violations, but the Department of Labor also uses a variety of remedies to enforce compliance with the Act. If the Wage and Hour Division Investigators notice violations, they will recommend changes in employment practices so that the employer is in compliance with the Act. They will also require employers to pay employees for any back due payments.