The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938 to set the national minimum pay and the amount of hours that employees must spend at their jobs. Hugo Black, an Alabama senator, created the original version of it in 1932. (Schor, 1994). The idea was opposed because it attempted to define the workweek as 30 hours, which many people believed would impede the growth of the production industry. In 1938, the bill was once more introduced, this time calling for a 40-hour workday and pay for overtime. It established the minimum pay for regular hours and stipulated that pay for overtime be one and a half times that of regular hours. It was passed and signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt who also applauded it as being key in improving the quality of life of the common American (Schor, 1994).

The Act became the subject of debate in Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. (1946) where the Supreme Court ruled that all work activities under the control of the employer should be placed under the act. This was followed by efforts to define what should be categorized as work and what should not. It was decided that any activity by the employee that benefits the employer should be compensated for. An amendment was done in 1955 to increase minimum wage to ninety cents an hour and eventually to one dollar. However, this did not include construction, agricultural and retail workers. The act has metamorphosed over the years with the latest development being the signing of a memorandum by President Obama in 2014 that included individuals with white collar jobs in the act, especially ion minimum wage and working hours (Bankston & McDowell, 2016). This was followed by further expansion of eligibility to cover more categories of employers.

Why the FLSA was Created

The FLSA was passed at a time when American workers were complaining of oppression by employers, having to work for long periods of time under very poor pay. Employers involved in production were using unorthodox means to keep their costs of production down, including use of child labor. The law was necessary to protect the children from this abuse and grant eligible workers good working conditions and fair pay.

How FLSA Influenced the Area of Human Resources and Compensation

The FLSA has improved the welfare of the American worker. Any entity or individual defined as an employer under the act must ensure they comply or risk losing their business license, being fined or both. It has ensured that workers get compensated for all activities before and after the shifts that are central to work efficiency (Schor, 1994). It has not only worked for the employees but also for the employers who enjoy the benefits of a satisfied and motivated workforce.

What The Future Holds for The Act

From its history, it can be predicted that FLSA has hope of maintaining good working conditions and terms for the American worker. The Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act has metamorphosed over the eight decades that it has been in practice to ensure that the worker gets substantive returns for their efforts at the workplace (Bankston & McDowell, 2016). It has been overwhelmingly supported by political leaders because it reduces the effect of inflation and the increasing cost of life on the citizens. It allows for the revision of salaries, especially minimum wage, after reasonable periods of time (Schor, 1994). The future is bright for this law since many changes in the workplace will be initiated through its modification that include amendments and addition of clauses.

How It Affected the Employer and The Employee

The Fair Labor Standards Act has made the American employer more cautious about their activities and treatment of the worker. It means that the employer must ensure that they pay above the minimum wage, meet all costs related to overtime work, keep their records and adhere to youth employment standards set by the act. These are meant to ensure that they comply with all the provisions. The overall effect of this on the worker has been maintenance of a good quality of life. It has minimized the negative effects of inflation and rise in the cost of life for many Americans. It has provided a basis on which the congress, other federal and state government agencies can revise the minimum wage and employment standards for the citizens. The precedence set by the act has seen many states enact laws to ensure that their minimum wage remains above that at the federal level.

Why I Agree with FLSA

This act is appropriate for both the American employer and employee and should even be expanded to cover more employers. It provides a basis on which working conditions, terms and remuneration can be adjusted. If these three are left unchecked, there are very high chances that the employer will exploit the employee by making them work for longer hours under poor pay. Therefore, the congress and relevant federal and state government departments should ensure that they do regular revision of the act and adjust the regulations.


Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co., 328 U.S. 680, 66 S. Ct. 1187, 90 L. Ed. 1515 (1946).

Bankston, A., & McDowell, G. S. (2016). Monitoring the compliance of the academic enterprise with the Fair Labor Standards Act. F1000Research, 5.

Schor, J. B. (1994). Worktime in Contemporary Context: Amending the Fair Labor Standards Act. Chi.-Kent L. Rev., 70, 157.

March 02, 2023

Work Economy Management

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Labor Minimum Wage Employee

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