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Fair Labor Standards Act facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (abbreviated as FLSA; also referred to as the Wages and Hours Bill) is a federal statute of the United States.

The Act

The FLSA introduced a maximum 44-hour workweek (reduced to a 40-hour workweek by 1940). It established a national minimum wage (of 25ยข per hour). It guaranteed "time-and-a-half" for overtime in certain jobs. The FLSA also prohibited most employment of minors in "oppressive child labor". The FLSA created a Wage and Hour Division in the Department of Labor. The statute applies to employees engaged in interstate commerce or employed by a business engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, unless the employer can claim an exemption from these requirements.

The FLSA was originally written in 1932 by Senator Hugo Black. He was later appointed to the Supreme Court in 1937. However, Black's proposal to require employers to adopt a thirty-hour workweek met stiff resistance. In 1938 a revised version of Black's proposal was passed that adopted an eight-hour day and a forty-hour workweek. It allowed workers to earn wages for an extra four hours of overtime as well. According to the act, workers must be paid minimum wage and overtime pay must be one-and-a-half times regular pay. Children under eighteen cannot do certain dangerous jobs. Also children under the age of sixteen cannot work during school hours. There were 700,000 workers affected by the FLSA. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called it the most important piece of New Deal legislation passed since the Social Security Act of 1935.

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