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The Fair Labor Standards Act: a Valuable Resource For Employees


The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal statute that regulates minimum wages, maximum hours, and child labor. The goal of the Fair Labor Standards Act is to secure “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” The North Carolina Wage and Hour Act essentially mirrors the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you are an employee or worker owed overtime or minimum wages or have filed a complaint with the Department of Labor about your wages or paychecks contact our experienced wage attorneys.

The Fair Labor Standards Act’s two primary objectives are to remedy long hours and low pay. This is targeted through minimum wage and overtime rules. The Fair Labor Standards Act and North Carolina Wage and Hour Act mandate a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked. For all hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a workweek, the FLSA and NCWAHA requires employers to pay overtime to employees “not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed.”

Certain employees and workers are exempt from minimum wage and overtime requirements. Minimum wage and overtime exemptions are wide ranging. There are minimum wage and overtime exemptions for “bona fide executive, administrative, or professional” exemptions. These exemptions generally require the payment of wages on a salary basis. Truck drivers may be exempted from overtime pay if certain requirements are met.

The majority of FLSA and NCWAHA violations pertain to unpaid overtime when employers fail to pay time-and-a-half of an employee’s regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a week. Employers bear the responsibility of maintaining accurate records of employees’ compensation and work hours. If an employer fails to maintain accurate records, the employee’s burden of proving hours worked is lessened.

Oftentimes overtime or minimum wage violations occur when employers require off-the-clock work, requiring employees to work without pay. Employers may delete certain hours worked by modifying time-cards or deleting hours actually worked to avoid paying overtime. Recent litigation involves call center employees required to report to work early to start their computers, load call center applications, and be prepared to actually answer calls at the start of the scheduled shift.

Another violation arises when an employer underpays an employee from their “regular rate.” Employers must pay overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. An employees’ “regular rate” is determined by dividing the employee’s total compensation in a workweek by the total number of hours worked. The regular rate of an employee includes hourly wages, commissions, or production bonuses. If an employee is not paid overtime based on the regular rate (instead of just the typical hourly rate), they are likely entitled to additional overtime compensation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act is not simple and is interpreted by numerous regulations, interpretations, and enforcement guidelines. Maginnis Howard is adept at unpaid wages litigation. The wage and hour attorneys at Maginnis Howard hold companies accountable for failing to follow the law. If you are owed any money by your employer, including overtime or minimum wage, please contact our office through by phone at (919) 526-0450. You may also send a confidential inquiry through our contact page or via the Live Chat function.

Karl S. Gwaltney handles employment cases dealing with unpaid minimum wages and overtime throughout Wake County, Cary, Apex, Durham, Vance County, and Henderson. The firm takes certain wage and hour/overtime cases throughout North Carolina, particularly when groups of workers are involved. Contact the firm to discuss your overtime claim today. The unpaid wages attorneys at Maginnis Law, PLLC are often able to represent employees in overtime disputes on a contingency basis, meaning no attorney fees are owed up front and fees are only owed if you recover funds from your employer.