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Wage and Hour Division
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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Hurricane Irene Pay and Leave Related Questions

The Wage and Hour Division wants the public to know that “We Can Help” those individuals impacted by Hurricane Irene. WHD is providing this webpage to provide some basic resources to ensure that in this critical time individuals are paid properly for work they perform and receive the job-protected leave they are entitled. For those wishing to file a complaint, please see the How to File a Complaint Webpage.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - The FLSA is the federal law of most general application concerning wages and hours of work. The FLSA requires employers to pay covered, non-exempt employees no less than the federal minimum wage for each hour actually worked and overtime at one and one-half times an employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours actually worked in excess of 40 in a week. These requirements are not subject to waiver during natural disasters and recovery efforts.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons, or for any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that a covered military member is on active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, in support of a contingency operation. The FMLA also allows eligible employees to take up to 26 workweeks of job-protected leave in a “single 12-month period” to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness.

Federal Prevailing Wage Laws

  • Service Contract Act (SCA) – The SCA generally applies to federal or District of Columbia contracts for clean-up activities following a disaster, requires contractors and subcontractors performing services on prime contracts in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in various classes no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, or the rates (including prospective increases) contained in a predecessor contractor's collective bargaining agreement. Learn more about the Service Contract Act.
  • The Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) – The DBA requires all contractors and subcontractors performing work on federal or District of Columbia construction contracts or federally assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 to pay their laborers and mechanics not less than the prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits for corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on similar projects in the area. In addition to the DBA itself, Congress has added prevailing wage provisions to approximately 60 statutes which assist construction projects through grants, loans, loan guarantees, and insurance. These are referred to as “Related Acts.” Learn more about the Davis-Bacon Act and Related Acts.
  • Application of Federal Prevailing Wage Laws to Disaster Relief Contracts

Additional Resources