Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) established fundamental changes to labor standards in the United States. Infamously, FLSA created the federal minimum wage for most private and public employees, which originally was $0.25 an hour. Secondly, FLSA created “time-and-a-half” overtime pay for all work time after 40 hours in a week except for exempted employees. Thirdly, FLSA restricted employment of children below the age of 16 except for specific areas like agriculture with their own age minimums unless permission is given by a guardian. However, children under the age of 18 could not be employed in most hazardous occupations and some specific sectors such as mining or manufacturing.  

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[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]