Young people in West Virginia who enter the job market for the first time might have heard that the Fair Labor Standards Act will protect their interests. But what does that mean? They might have questions about pay, wages and benefits, and what is required by the FLSA.
Payment for night or weekend work
Based on FLSA requirements, workers must receive at least one-and-a-half their regular wage for hours worked beyond 40 hours per workweek. That means workers must receive overtime payment for night and weekend work if those hours take them over the 40-hour mark. If not, pay for those circumstances is strictly based upon agreements between employer and employee or the employee’s representative.
What about absence from work?
There will be times when they go on vacation or are absent from work due to illness during anyone’s career. Furthermore, there will be holidays when they are not expected to report for duty, but will they be entitled to wages for those absences? These are also benefits not mandated by the FLSA but to be negotiated by employers and workers or their representatives.
Are workers entitled to paid meal and rest breaks?
Meal breaks or rest breaks do not fall within the FLSA requirements. However, the state of West Virginia mandates that workers must be allowed 20-minute meal breaks after working for six uninterrupted hours. Some workers may be allowed to have meals while they work. An exception exists when it comes to nursing mothers, who, under the FLSA, must be permitted break times for nursing.
Two other pay-related matters not covered by the FLSA involve pay raises and severance pay. Both are matters subject to agreement between workers and employers. However, the act does require employers to pay the federal minimum wage or more and overtime for hours exceeding 40 per week.
Employees in West Virginia could find comfort in the fact that avenues to get questions answered exist. Likewise, those who believe they were unfairly treated with relation to wages, overtime, pay rises and absence from work have steps available to seek support and guidance in how to proceed.