Fair Labor Standards Act and Construction Jobs: Learning the Rules for Posters
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), every private, federal, state, and local government entity that employs workers is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and must display a poster on minimum wage rules. Fortunately, the DOL also makes it easy by providing a wide range of options in a variety of languages and sizes. If a substantial number of employees speak a language other than English, you may be required to provide bilingual posters. All versions of the posters are easily downloadable in PDF format.
The key information provided by the poster regards the federal minimum wage. Other provisions noted are as follows:
- Overtime rules: For all hours worked over 40, employees are entitled to 1.5 times the regular rate.
- Child labor rules: These are extensive. Among the key provisions are that an employee must be at least 16 years old to work most nonfarm jobs and at least 18 years old to work in jobs classified as hazardous. Youths 14 and 15 years old may work limited hours in certain kinds of positions only.
The FLSA poster also lists in detail the enforcement provisions: the DOL can recover back wages through administrative or court action, and criminal action may be taken as well. Employers in violation of the law "may be assessed civil money penalties of up to $1,100 for each willful or repeated violation of the minimum wage or overtime pay provisions of the law and up to $11,000 for each employee who is the subject of a violation of the Act's child labor provisions." It gets worse if death or serious injury is involved.
The FLSA poster also states that companies cannot discharge or otherwise retaliate against workers "who file a complaint or participate in any proceeding under the Act."
So, how does this apply to your construction business?
In most cases, your requirements for posting this information at the workplace will depend on whether your workers are full-time employees of your company or contractors. Separate labor laws apply to contractors working on your job site.
Other exceptions and conditions also apply, which are mentioned in the poster. Employers should note that certain states and localities have additional rules, such as minimum wages above the federal rate. The poster is an important requirement, but it can’t encompass all the laws and regulations that may affect wages. Because regulations can change, employers should periodically check the DOL site for updates.
If you need more information about FLSA, be sure to contact me today.