Salaries, wages and the FLSA

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a U.S. federal law passed in 1938 and amended over the years that sets out rules for paying workers who receive an hourly wage. The FLSA distinguishes between workers who earn salaries and are “exempt” from regulations and workers who earn an hourly wage and are covered.

In FCPS, most licensed educators are exempt from FLSA and earn salaries. This includes teachers, counselors, administrators, etc. Exempt employees are not covered by FLSA rules covering things like overtime.

Most of FCPS’ Educational Support Professionals (ESP’s for short) are covered by FLSA. This includes instructional assistants, secretaries, custodians, food service workers, maintenance workers, etc. Although FCPS’ pay tables for these workers show annual pay rates that look like salaries, the workers are actually paid hourly and the pay table indicates the expected pay received for the base contract number of hours.

Hourly workers are subject to FLSA rules covering the minimum wage and overtime for work in excess of 40 hours per week. The most important aspect is that an employer must pay an employee for all of the time that they work. For example, if a supervisor asks a worker to stay at work for an extra 15 minutes to finish a task, the employee must be compensated for that extra work.

FEA members who have questions about how FLSA applies to them should call the FEA.

More information about FLSA is available on the website of the U.S. Department of Labor. An excellent summary of FLSA can be found here, and there is also a Spanish language version available here.