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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

(Revised July 2009) (PDF)

Fact Sheet #14: Coverage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

This fact sheet provides general information concerning coverage under the FLSA.

The FLSA is the Federal law which sets minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards.

The minimum wage for covered nonexempt workers is not less than $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. With only some exceptions, overtime ("time and one-half") must be paid for work over forty hours a week. Child labor regulations prohibit persons younger than eighteen years old from working in certain jobs and additionally sets rules concerning the hours and times employees under sixteen years of age may work.

More than 130 million American workers are protected (or "covered") by the FLSA, which is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

There are two ways in which an employee can be covered by the law: "enterprise coverage" and "individual coverage."

Enterprise Coverage

Employees who work for certain businesses or organizations (or "enterprises") are covered by the FLSA. These enterprises, which must have at least two employees, are:

(1) those that have an annual dollar volume of sales or business done of at least $500,000

(2) hospitals, businesses providing medical or nursing care for residents, schools and preschools, and government agencies

Individual Coverage

Even when there is no enterprise coverage, employees are protected by the FLSA if their work regularly involves them in commerce between States ("interstate commerce"). The FLSA covers individual workers who are "engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce."

Examples of employees who are involved in interstate commerce include those who: produce goods (such as a worker assembling components in a factory or a secretary typing letters in an office) that will be sent out of state, regularly make telephone calls to persons located in other States, handle records of interstate transactions, travel to other States on their jobs, and do janitorial work in buildings where goods are produced for shipment outside the State.

Also, domestic service workers (such as housekeepers, full-time babysitters, and cooks) are normally covered by the law.

Where to Obtain Additional Information

For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division Website: and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations.