The U.S. Department of Labor enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets basic minimum wage and overtime pay standards. These standards are enforced by the Department's Wage and Hour Division.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for workers covered by the FLSA.
Many states also have minimum wage laws. In cases where an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two minimum wages. Find the minimum wage in your state.
Overtime pay of not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek. Certain exemptions apply to specific types of businesses or specific types of work.
Fair Labor Standards Act
While the FLSA does set the minimum wage for certain workers, it does not, however, require any of the following:
The FLSA does not address nonproduction cash bonuses, payments that are not production-based. These bonuses are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).
Benefits such as educational assistance, life insurance, or travel accident insurance are generally a matter of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee's representative).
Other Wage Laws
In addition to the FLSA, the Wage and Hour Division enforces other labor laws related to wage payment. Among these are:
- The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, which require payment of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits on federally-financed or assisted construction
- The Service Contract Act, which requires payment of prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits on contracts to provide services to the federal government
- The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act, which sets overtime standards for most federal service contracts, federally funded construction contracts and federal supply contracts over $100,000
- The Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act, which requires payment of minimum wage rates and overtime pay on federal contracts to manufacture or provide goods to the federal government
Compliance Assistance Resources
A user-friendly electronic version of the Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act provides American employers and workers with labor law information.
Wage and Hour Resources for Workers
- Browse worker resources
- Learn how to file a complaint
- Search the Workers Owed Wages database to find out if the Wage and Hour Division is holding back pay for you
- Download publications or order hard copies
- Browse fact sheets
- Find labor offices for all states and territories
Wage and Hour Resources for Employers
- Browse employer resources
- Explore the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program that allows employers to self-report violations, correct mistakes, and quickly provide back wages owed
- Find a Compliance Assistance Toolkit for your industry
- View resources tailored to new and small businesses
- Watch short FLSA compliance videos that address common questions
- Download or order required posters to display in the workplace