What is the FLSA?

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, commonly called the FLSA, is the broadest of all federal labor laws, and its guidelines cover millions of U.S. workers. The FLSA establishes standards in four areas of employment: minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor, and record keeping.


What is meant when a job is called either “non-exempt” or “exempt”?

When a job is classified as “non-exempt,” all provisions of the FLSA apply to the job. This includes paying employees at least the minimum federal wage for every hour worked and paying one and one-half times the regular wage for every hour worked over 40 hours in a workweek. Additionally, records about the dates and times when the employee works must be maintained. Other provisions of the FLSA, such as child labor, cover the job where applicable.

Note: The law requires that all jobs be classified as “non-exempt” unless a review of the specific job proves that the job meets the FLSA definitions and provisions to be “exempt” from the law.


Am I eligible for over time pay if I work extra time beyond my regular shift?

There is no daily overtime. Overtime pay only begins after the employee works 40 hours in a workweek. The FLSA defines a workweek as a fixed, recurring and permanent period of 7 consecutive 24-hour days. At TCU, the workweek ends at 12:00 midnight each Friday and a new workweek begins at 12:01 a.m. each Saturday.


What rules does the FLSA require for meal breaks?

Meal periods are not required by the FLSA. If the employer establishes a meal break, it is not considered paid time if the 3 following conditions are met:

  1. The lunch period is long enough for the employee to consume a meal or use for his/her own purposes – typically 30 minutes or longer
  2. The employee is uninterrupted during the lunch period
  3. The employee is relieved from duty during the lunch period


Some departments take scheduled work breaks. Is that required by the FLSA?

Work breaks are not required, but if given, must be treated as paid work time if they are less than 20 minutes in duration.


What kind of rules does the FLSA have about vacation pay, sick leave, and holiday pay?

The FLSA does not require payment for time not worked, such as vacations, sick leave or holidays (federal or otherwise). Plans that pay for time not worked are offered by the employer for the benefit of their employees.


When are pay raises required?

Pay raises are generally a matter of agreement between the employer and the employee. Pay raises to amounts above the minimum wage are not required by the FLSA.