Employee Rights in the United States

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the minimum working standards for employees in most private and public employment, from the minimum pay, overtime laws, vacation, sick pay, age restrictions and safety in the workplace. Here are some examples of federal employee rights.

What is the minimum federal hourly wage for covered, non-exempt employees?

The federal minimum wage as of July 24, 2008 is $6.55 hourly, this will increase on July 24, 2009 to $7.25 hourly.

Are there laws on overtime pay?

Employees required to work more than 40 hours per week are in most circumstances legally entitled to extra pay for the additional hours worked.

Am I covered if I need to take sick leave or leave for family issues?

If, as an eligible employee, you need to take leave for serious illness for yourself or a close family member, or for the birth of a child or care of a child, and your company employs over fifty people, you are entitled to up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job protected leave. This is covered by The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

What about occupational health and safety?

The OSH Act of 1970 (Occupational Safety and Health Act) protects employees and employers, sets standards and conducts inspections. It also covers access to personal protective wear and equipment, hazardous materials communication, access to medical records, recordkeeping and reporting.