Frequently we hear employees claim that the “Labor Board” requires the employer to pay for lunches, provide paid vacations, sick days or other benefits. They also may claim that you cannot require them to work overtime hours.
Federal requirements for employers are regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These federal requirements are actually quite limited. As an employer, the FLSA requires employers to pay their employees minimum wage and overtime at the rate of time and a half the employee’s regular rate of pay.
Under federal law employers are NOT required to provide:
- Sick Pay
- Premium pay for weekend, holiday or shift work (beyond the required time and one-half for hours worked over 40 in one week)
- Pay raises (unless to comply with minimum wage requirements under the law)
- Other fringe benefits, except as required under the Affordable Care Act
- Discharge notices, reason for discharge or immediate payment of wages upon termination.
- Lunches (paid or unpaid)
- Breaks (however, if you provide breaks of 20 minutes or less that time is compensable)
Additionally the FLSA does not limit the number of hours you can schedule or require an employee to work (either daily or weekly, including overtime) as long as you pay time and one-half for time worked in excess of 40 hours. Note: this only applies to employees 16 years of age or older.
Some cities and states are more restrictive
That said, many states, and some cities have passed or are considering legislation that will add requirements for employers. For example, many states and cities have higher minimum wage rates than the federal government.
Most states have youth labor laws that limit the number of hours that minors may work. Some states require payment of final wages immediately upon termination. A few states require paid breaks and/or lunches and some states require overtime (time and one-half) for hours worked in excess of 8 hours per day rather than 40 hours per week.
Several cities and a few states have passed paid sick leave requirements.
Additionally, for those working under federal contracts, an Executive Order from the President has raised minimum wage for employees covered under those contracts. In cases where there is a difference between federal and state laws, the law that benefits the employee will always take precedence.
There continue to be changes that may impact employers on national and state and local levels. BCN Services monitors the ever-changing scope of legal requirements for our clients and will keep you apprised of anything that impacts your business.
If you have specific questions regarding employer’s requirements under federal, state or local government regulations, please contact your Partnership Manager. If you are an employer that does not currently work with us, please contact us for assistance or more information.
Jeff Walsh, Partnership Manager