In an age of global economic change and dramatic alteration of the American work force, the Fair Labor Standards Act still stands as the preeminent tool for enforcing and protecting the rights and wages of employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law that requires employers to keep accurate records of time worked by its employees, to pay employees a minimum wage and to pay employees an overtime premium of time-and-a-half for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. It also prohibits oppressive child labor.
The act was a landmark law in the Nation’s social and economic development. When it was passed in 1938, the United States Congress announced that the public policy of the United States is to provide for a minimum standard of living for health, efficiency and general well being of workers, to promote the free flow of goods in commerce and to eliminate unfair methods of competition in business.
The purpose of the Fair Labor Standards Act is to correct the unhealthy business conditions and deplorable conditions for workers that Congress found existing in United States.Requiring employers to pay an overtime premium promotes the health, efficiency and general well-being of workers by making it less profitable for employers to make employees do the work of two or more people. Requiring employees to work excessive hours keeps workers away from their homes and their families, and can cause health and other problems. The Fair Labor Standards Act does not limit the amount of hours of business can make employee’s work — it just requires them to pay a premium for the excess time, and encourages employers to employ enough employees to conduct the work of the business.
The FLSA is the single most important law promoting the social well-being and standard of living of people who live in the United States. Even though the act has been law since 1938, more employers are violating it than ever before. The act allows employees to bring their own overtime lawsuits against employers who violate the law. The number of wage and hour class actions filed in the federal courts has more than doubled from 2001 to 2006. Some employers are as creative as ever and try to find ways to avoid the law. Employer groups call their fight against enforcement of the FLSA a “war” and have declared to find ways to end employee challenges.
The FLSA was created to protect the well being of workers and it is our job to make sure it isn’t lost or changed. Protecting employees from being overworked and under compensated for their sacrifices made in the pursuit of progress, is our job. We give employees a voice and support in fighting for their rights. “Fighting for Justice” is our mission at Barrett and Farahany.
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