Wages and Hours Worked:
Industrial Homework / Piecework
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), industrial homework means the production of goods by any covered person in a home, apartment, or room in a residential establishment, for an employer who permits or authorizes such production, regardless of the source of the materials used by the homeworker in such production. Employers must provide workers with handbooks to record time, expenses, and pay information.
Most types of homework are permitted under the FLSA. However, the performance of certain types of industrial homework is prohibited under the FLSA unless the employer has obtained prior certification from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division. Homework requires certification in only seven specific industries: women's apparel, jewelry manufacturing, knitted outerwear, gloves and mittens, button and buckle manufacturing, handkerchief manufacturing, and embroideries. Certification occurs when the employer obtains an employer certificate, or homeworkers obtain individual certification, from the Department's Wage and Hour Division, authorizing such work. Certified employers of homeworkers in these industries will be required to renew their certificate every two years.
Employer certification is not available for women's apparel and certain hazardous jewelry manufacturing operations; only individual certification is permitted. Homework under the FLSA is not restricted in any industry other than those listed above. However, all individually covered homework is subject to the FLSA minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements.
- Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act - Answers many questions about the FLSA and gives information about certain occupations that are exempt from the Act.
- Filing a complaint - DOL's Wage and Hour Division manages complaints regarding violations of the various laws and regulations it administers. To file a complaint concerning one of these laws, contact your nearest Wage and Hour Division office or call the Department's Toll-Free Wage and Hour HelpLine at 1-866-4-US-WAGE.
- Homeworkers Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - Provides general information concerning the application of the FLSA to industrial homeworkers.
- Employment Relationship Under the FLSA - The FLSA covers homeworkers as employees and entitles them to all benefits of the law.
- elaws Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Advisor - Addresses key wage and hour topics, including industrial homework / piecework.
Every covered employer must keep certain records for each non-exempt worker. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires no particular form for the records, but does require that the records include certain identifying information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. For a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain, see the FLSA recordkeeping fact sheet. When employing homeworkers, a separate homeworker handbook is required.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - Establishes minimum wages, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor standards for private sector and government workers.
- 29 CFR Part 530 - Regulations pertaining to the employment of homeworkers in certain industries.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics' Monthly Labor Review (MLR) Article: "Home-Based Workers: Data from the 1990 Census" - Provides an analysis of the home-based worker.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics' Monthly Labor Review (MLR) Article: "Work at Home: Data from the Current Population Survey" - Provides information about home-based businesses.
- State Labor Offices - When the state laws differ from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer must comply with the standard most protective to employees.
- State Labor Laws
- Wage and Hour Division
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
- For questions on other DOL laws,
please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.