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Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Management should be aware of whether their employees are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and what that coverage means. The employee's FLSA exemption status is shown on the Position Description and in the agency's automated payroll/personnel system.

It will identify EXEMPT or NONEXEMPT. The FLSA provides for minimum standards for both wages and overtime entitlements and specifies administrative procedures by which covered work-time must be compensated. Term definitions are:

  • NONEXEMPT - Covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Act.
  • EXEMPT - Not Covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Act.

In practical terms this means that employees designated as nonexempt are entitled to overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for each hour that actually work over 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a workweek. (See, "FLSA Overtime)

Management recommends an FLSA status for an employee, and that status is verified/validated by the HR operations servicing office based on the type of position (e.g., executive, administrative, professional, technical, clerical, and other) and the nature of the duties and responsibilities of the position.

An employee is presumed to be FLSA nonexempt unless the employing agency correctly determines that the employee is exempt using criteria spelled out in the Act. The burden of proof rests with the employing agency.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Federal Employee FLSA homepage is another source of information.

An Overview of the Fair Labor Standards Act can be found at the OPM website.