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The consequences of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act

According to the United States Department of Labor, American workers are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA was passed over 70 years ago. The federal law created a federal minimum wage and requires overtime pay if an employee exceeds 40 work hours per week. The law also mandates employers to keep proper records, as well as establishing limits on youth employment. Should a Minnesota employer fail to comply with the FLSA, serious consequences may result.

The DOL explains that it has the power to use several remedy types when enforcing the FLSA. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, which is responsible ensuring FLSA compliance, may simply recommend that employers update their employment practices. In addition, the WHD may order employers to pay back wages for any employees for which the employers failed to provide overtime or minimum wage pay.

If an employer is found to have willfully violated the FLSA, the consequences may be much more severe. These employers may face criminal charges, in addition to high monetary penalties. First offenders may be ordered to pay a maximum of $10,000 in fines. Willful or repeated violations of overtime or minimum wage requirements may face penalties of $1,100 per violation. After a second conviction, employers may face prison sentences.

Not all employers will fall under the FLSA, but all Minnesota employers need to be concerned about minimum wage hours. Minnesota’s state laws include provisions regulating minimum pay and overtime hours, and these regulations are similar to those in the FLSA. The DOL explains that employers who fall under both laws must adhere to the one with higher standards.

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