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The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Portal-to- Portal Act

It is stated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the the maximum time of work an employer can require form his/her employees is eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. Anything beyond this number of hours would already be treated as overtime work. These daily/weekly hours of work stipulated by the FLSA is to make sure that employees will have enough
time for rest and ample time with their families. Any increase in the daily/weekly number of working hours may render an employees exhausted every day and, therefore, not very inclined to work the following workday.

The Fair Labor Standards Act is a U.S. Federal law that was passed in 1938. It defines the legal daily and weekly number of working hours, the national minimum wage, and the computation of overtime pay, among others. Another law that touches on overtime pay is the Portal-to- Portal Act, which was passed in 1947.

This Portal-to- Portal Act is actually a modification to the Fair Labor Standards Act; is was then intended to make clear various issues regarding pre-work and post-work activities. Both the FLSA and Portal-to- Portal Act do not consider pre and post work activities as overtime work, unless activities performed during these times are directly connected to one’s type of work and performed either in the workplace or anywhere else, so long as it is upon the instructions of the company manager and for the benefit of the company (such as delivery of goods).

Not all employees are allowed to render overtime work, though. Only those who are non-exempt are considered eligible to render overtime work and, so, receive overtime pay. Workers who are exempt, or not eligible to render overtime (as well exempt from receiving the minimum wage, as their wages can definitely be higher) include administrative, executive, professional employees, outside sales employees, certain skilled computer professionals, employees employed in certain recreational or seasonal establishments, switchboard operators of small telephone companies, seamen in foreign vessels, those engaged in fishing operations, farm workers working in small farms, those employed as companions to the infirm or elderly and casual babysitters.

No law is intended to limit any business firm’s operations aimed at earning profits. Strictly observing the mandate of all employment laws will only result to satisfied employees and, thus, (probably) zero discrimination or unfair labor practice lawsuits. As explained by the Leichter Law Firm, however, employers often do not pay workers overtime even if they are entitled to it. This is illegal and employers who act with such disregard for the FLSA hurt their workers by withholding money that they have earned. Violation of the overtime law can result to lawsuits against guilty employers who may be required by the law not only to pay overtime work rendered by complaining employees, but also to compensate them for the troubles and damages they have been made to suffer.

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