Fair Labor Standards Act

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The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal statute passed as part of the New Deal that regulates the hours, wages, and working conditions of employees and prohibits child labor under the majority of circumstances. The Fair Labor Standards Act is codified at 29 U.S.C §§201-219.

Key provisions of the act set a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the right to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 hours a week, and penalties for willful violations of the act’s provisions. 

Because the act only applies to employees, independent contractors are not entitled to its protections. Nonetheless, employers who mislabel their employees as independent contractors are subject to the aforementioned penalties for Fair Labor Standards Act violations. 

[Last updated in January of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]