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Here's why you need to know the Fair Labor Standards Act

Fair wages are important to you, but they're also important to those around you. When you're not being paid fairly, you can assume that others aren't, either. When it comes to getting the correct wages, it's your employer's responsibility to follow the law. If he or she doesn't and violates your rights, you can take legal action.

If you're worried you aren't getting paid overtime correctly, you need to know more about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Your employer must fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act for the following to apply. The FLSA applies primarily to those paid less than $23,600 yearly, those who are nonsalaried and those who are not involved in management activities. You must also not be in a position that is exempt from overtime pay to qualify under the FLSA. Those in this position are typically entitled to overtime pay.

What are some kinds of jobs that don't qualify under the FLSA?

The following jobs aren't covered by the FLSA in most circumstances. They include babysitters, outside salespeople, computer specialists who earn $27.63 or more per hour, independent contractors, small farm employees, newspaper deliverers, volunteers and amusement park employees. This is not an exhaustive list.

Under the FLSA, do you have to get paid for time you spend training?

Yes. If your training is required by your employer, then you should be paid for the time you take to complete it. That includes being paid overtime if you go over your allowed weekly hours. Orientations, training away from the office and other types of classes and courses may be covered if required by the employer. Additionally, if you have to travel, your employer should cover your travel expenses (for the time you spent traveling) in your wages as well.

Wages can be complicated, but in the end, your employer has to pay you in accordance with the laws of the state and government. If you feel you're being short-changed, it's good to look into the laws that protect you.

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