Money often motivates people to do questionable things. The profit motive in business may inspire a company to take advantage of, abuse or even knowingly endanger its staff to make more money or avoid expenditures.
In a perfect world, companies would do what was right by their workers on their own, but history has shown that those motivated by profit will often stop at nothing to maximize their financial gains, even if it means endangering the very people that generate their wealth.
There are many laws in place aimed at protecting workers from businesses that would endanger or undercompensate them for their labor. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)is one of the most basic legal protections for American workers. What does the FLSA do for employees?
The FLSA establishes the minimum wage
Some companies will literally pay workers the least that they can legally get away with paying them. In order to ensure that everyone who works has a basic standard of living, lawmakers instituted a minimum wage under the FSLA, which they also occasionally adjust. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
The FSLA creates overtime standards for workers
Some companies would require that their employees work such long hours that they endangered their health or their family relationships. In order to promote a better balance of work and home life, overtime rules necessitate extra compensation for hourly workers who put in more than 40 hours in a single week. The FLSA also created child labor standards that protect youthful workers from exploitation and set certain other minimum standards.
If your employer has violated your rights by not paying you minimum wage or denying valid claims for overtime pay, you may want to talk with a lawyer about your experience. They can help you determine what your options are.