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Applying the FLSA in New York

The Fair Labor Standards Act states that non-exempt workers are entitled to be paid at least the federal minimum wage for each hour worked. Furthermore, a covered employee who works more than 40 hours in a week is entitled to overtime pay. Employers are required to keep detailed and accurate records, and they may face fines or other penalties for failure to do so.

An hour worked is generally defined as any time in which an employee is under employer control. This may mean employees are entitled to their hourly wage even if they are not performing any primary duties during the time that they are under employer control. However, those who may be on call do not always need to be paid. This is often true if the worker is on call but otherwise allowed to do as he or she wishes unless called into work.

Employers generally don't have to pay employees in the hours between a split shift. For instance, if an employee works in the morning, has the afternoon off and then works again that night, that worker is not paid for the afternoon hours not worked. Again, this is because the employee was not under employer control and knew that this would be the case during that time period.

Individuals who believe that they may have been the victim of wage and hour violations may wish to talk to an attorney. The federal government takes FSLA violations very seriously. Unlike workplace discrimination claims that are heard by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor is tasked with the enforcement of FSLA.

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