Fair Labor Standards Act

Austin Lawyers Protecting the Rights of Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides rules for employers with regard to minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, equal pay, and child labor. The Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor enforces the FLSA. The Texas Payday Act provides supplemental protection. If you believe that your rights under the FLSA have been violated, you should consult an experienced Austin FLSA lawyer. At Wiley Walsh, P.C., our wage law attorneys provide knowledgeable counsel and representation to people who have been victimized by FLSA violations.

Bringing a Claim Under the Fair Labor Standards Act  

Most jobs in Texas are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), although certain types of jobs are excluded. Movie theater employees and certain agricultural workers are not covered by the FLSA. Some jobs are covered by other federal laws, such as railroad workers, and those jobs are not covered by the FLSA.

The FLSA provides minimum wage and overtime for nonexempt workers. Exempt employees are not entitled to overtime or minimum wage, but some employers misclassify workers who are nonexempt as exempt to avoid the requirements imposed by the FLSA. Outside sales employees are exempt under the FLSA. With other employees, whether you are considered exempt or nonexempt depends on the kind of work that you do, how much you are paid, and the method of calculating pay. Generally, you need to be paid a minimum of $455 per week on a salary basis to be exempt. Your job duties must also be exempt.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25, and this is also the minimum wage under Texas law. You cannot agree to be paid less than minimum wage – agreements providing that you will not be paid minimum wage or overtime will be treated as void and unenforceable, even if you worked unauthorized overtime. States can provide a higher minimum wage but cannot fall under the federal minimum wage. Workers who are nonexempt are also entitled to overtime. This is paid at time and a half for any hours that were worked over 40 hours during a seven-day period. If your employer failed to pay you overtime, a FLSA attorney at our Austin firm can help assert your rights.

The FLSA also provides other rules that employers must follow. It requires that children younger than age 14 cannot work for an employer. While children aged 14 or 15 can work, they cannot work in dangerous occupations or during school hours. Children aged 16 or 17 can work any number of hours but cannot work in dangerous jobs. At age 18, there is no restriction on the hours that they work or duties that they perform under the FLSA, although other restrictions may apply under other laws, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

Many people are surprised to learn that the FLSA does not mandate particular rest or lunch breaks, employee benefits, or payroll practices. However, any rest break that is 20 minutes or less in duration is paid because it is believed to promote productivity. Lunch breaks that are a minimum of 30 minutes and given for the purpose of eating lunch or a meal are unpaid. However, you need to be fully relieved of your duties during the lunch break.

There are special break regulations that apply to particularly dangerous jobs. Additionally, under FLSA section 207(r)(1), an employer must give nonexempt nursing mothers a reasonable break to nurse their infants when infants are allowed in the workplace for the first year after the baby's birth and to express breast milk.

What about holidays and weekend pay? Some employees assume that they are entitled to extra pay for any unusual hours, but this is not the case in Texas. The FLSA does not require it, but sometimes individual employers provide extra pay as an incentive so that an employee will be available for additional hours that are culturally associated with leisure time.

Contact a Knowledgeable FLSA Lawyer in the Austin Area

If you are a nonexempt employee, your employer is required to follow certain rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act. You may be able to file a lawsuit with the assistance of a minimum wage or overtime lawyer to obtain relief if your employer violates the FLSA. The Austin FLSA attorneys at Wiley Walsh, P.C. represent workers in cities such as Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Del Valle, Kyle, San Marcos, San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg. Call us at (512) 271-5527 or use our online form to set up an appointment.

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