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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor

Am I an Employee?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) only covers employees. The FLSA defines employee as "any individual employed by an employer" and employ is defined as including "to suffer or permit to work." The concept of employment in the FLSA is very broad and is tested by "economic reality."

Remember that not all Federal laws share common definitions. Therefore a determination of employment status must be made separately under each law, including the FLSA. For example, if a worker is not an employee for purposes of tax law, he or she may still be an employee under the FLSA.

The most common misconceptions associated with the employment relationship under the FLSA relate to:

Independent Contractors
Trainees (includes School-to-Work programs)
Volunteers

Click on any of the categories above to find out more.