Fair Labor Standards Act

Fair Labor Standards ActProblems That Necessitate the PolicyThe Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 was created in response to unequal and questionable working conditions in America, including child labor, extreme and unsafe working conditions, and a lack of standardized work schedules and pay scales. The FLSA required a 40-cent-an-hour minimum wage, a 40-hour maximum work week, and a minimum working age of 16 for most industries. The FLSA was designed to protect the educational opportunities of minors and the livelihoods of American families by maintaining a living wage for American workers.Facts and statistics:A survey by the Labor Department’s Children’s Bureau in 1937 took a cross section of 449 children in several states and found that nearly one-fourth of them worked 60 hours or longer per week and only one-third worked 40 hours or less a week. The median wage wasonly $4 a week.Current Policy Description: Who is affected?According to the Department of Labor (DOL) the most recentversion of the FLSA (revised in 2011) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor standards that affect full- and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state, and local government. Most private and public employment is affected by the FLSA because it requires employers to pay atleast the federal minimum wage andovertime pay of one and a half times theregular rate of pay.One-hundred thirty million workers in morethan 7 million work places are assistedunder the FLSA under two types ofcoverage determined by the DOL.Employers who have at least twoemployees and make a minimum of$500,000 a year in revenue qualify forEnterprise Coverage. If the business is notcovered, however, the worker can still becovered through Individual Coverage.Employees are protected by the FLSA iftheir work regularly involves “interstatecommerce” such as those sending packagesor making phone calls out of state, ortraveling for their jobs.Minimum Wage:Federal, state, and local minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour.“Tipped wage workers,” however, are exempt from this minimum because they receive part of their income from the tipsthey receive from customers. Therefore, tipped wage is set at only $2.13 per hour plus tips. No employer is allowed to discriminate between employees on the basis of sex by paying men more thanwomen. Equal pay for equal work is expected, but with exceptions. Exceptions include seniority systems and meritsystems. The maximum work day is 8 hoursduring a 40-hour work week. Anything over this is considered overtime.Overtime:According to the DOL, non-exempt employees must receive one and ahalf times their regular rate of pay for overtime work.Child and Adolescent Labor Laws:According to the DOL youths under age 14may not be employed in non-agriculturaloccupations covered by the FLSA. Thirteen-year-olds may act or perform, delivernewspapers, and babysit according tofederal law. Youths who are 14 or 15 yearsold may be employed outside of schoolhours in “non-hazardous” jobs for limitedperiods of time. They may work between 7a.m. and 7 p.m. when it does not interferewith school hours, up to three hours on aschool day, and up to 18 hours in a schoolweek.During school holidays they maywork full-time adult hours, that is, up to 8hours on a non-school day and up to 40hours in a non-school week. Youths aged 16to 17 may be employed for unlimited hoursin any occupation other than those declaredhazardous by the Secretary of Labor. It isillegal for minors (under age 18) to perform jobs deemed hazardous, including mining, meat packing, operating power-driven machines, roofing, and driving.Record Keeping:The DOL requires that employers keep records of their employees’information, such as full name, mailingaddress, birthdate, sex and occupation,hours worked each day and week, hourlypay rate, daily earnings, overtime earnings,total wages paid, date of payment, and alladditions to or deductions from theemployee’s wages.History of the FLSAMany other policies paved the way for theFLSA including Hammer v. Dangenhart,Adkins v. Children’s Hospital, the New Deal,the National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA),and others. Key players in the FLSA includedPresident Franklin Delano Roosevelt andSecretary of Labor Frances Perkins, as wellas Senator Hugo Black of Alabama andRepresentative William Connery ofMassachusetts who agreed to sponsorearlier bills on this subject in the Senate andHouse, respectively.It took 26 rounds and 72 amendments through Congress for thebill to become law, but on June 25, 1938, the FDR administration claimed victory. Most of the amendments had been crafted to weaken the original bill, and in the end the bill predominately favored whitecitizens.Arguments in favorArguments in favor of the FLSA describe equal rights for all people, including a minimum wage for all. Wage requirements and over-time pay help maintain equality amongst workers.The Fair Minimum WageAct of 2013 would amend the FLSA toincrease the federal minimal wage up to$10.10. However, the policy has had littletraction in the House and Senate. After itwas introduced in the Senate, it wasreferred to the Committee on Health,Education, Labor, and Pensions and has notbeen seen since. Another argument in favorof the FLSA involves children’s rights totheir childhoods and to education. Proponents say no youths should have to choose between school and making money.Arguments againstAn argument against the FLSA has to dowith limited access to paid laborers forAmerican farms. Farmers have few optionsfor laborers and farm hands. Through the20th century, American family farms wererun by farmers and their children, but anFLSA amendment, “Child Labor Requirements in Agricultural Occupations under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” lastamended in 2007, severely limited whatminors can do on American farms—eventhose owned and operated by their parents.Under the FLSA, minors under age 16 maybe employed outside of school hours,without parental consent, on a farm; butthey are disallowed from performing thoseagricultural tasks considered “hazardous”by the Secretary of Labor. These hazardsinclude operating a standard sized tractor;operating or assisting to operate a myriadof agricultural machines; working in a farmyard, pen, or stall occupied by variousanimals including a cow with a newborncalf; working from a ladder at a height ofover 20 feet; and much more. Americanfarms have become industrialized—little isdone without a machine—and with thehazard regulations put forth by the FLSAadolescents, even the children of farmers,cannot assist with the duties of running afarm.Additionally, as more and moreAmericans attend college and post-graduate programs, there are fewer ruralblue collar workers to pick up the slack.Without turning to undocumented workers,farmers have few options when it comes tofarm laborers and they believe agriculturaljobs should be treated differently by theSecretary of Labor and the FLSA.Policy evaluationAt least one-fourth of Americans currentlywork at jobs that do not pay a living wage.As the cost of living has risen, minimumwage has remained stagnant for severalyears. A study released in 2014 by OxfamAmerica, an anti-poverty organization,found that increasing the federal minimumwage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour wouldgive roughly 25 million American workers araise. Nearly one in five workers in everycongressional district in America wouldbenefit—about 55,000 people in everydistrict. Raising the minimum wage wouldalso pump money into the economy.When people have more money, they are able tospend more money on goods and services,thus, benefiting the economy.The FLSA is a good policy, but it needs to be updated andamended. The minimum wage is increasingly inadequate for life in modern America.Policy recommendationsThe FLSA should be amended. The federalminimum wage should be raised to a livingwage to improve the lives of Americans andto improve our economy. Child labor lawsfor agricultural work should be amended toallow adolescents more opportunities forwork on farms. As it currently stands, thereis little a teenager can do on her parent’sfarm in the United States, and that isdetrimental to American farmers.ReferencesDepartment of Labor. (2007).Child Labor Requirements In Agricultural Occupations Under theFair Labor Standards Act (Child Labor Bulletin 102).(WH publication 1295). Retrievedfrom
http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/childlabor102.pdf
.Department of Labor. (2009).Fact Sheet #14: Coverage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act(FLSA).Retrieved from
http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs14.pdf
.Department of Labor. (2011).The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, As Amended.(WHpublication 1318). Retrieved from
http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/statutes/FairLaborStandAct.pdf
.Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. (2008). Retrieved from
http://www.shrm.org/legalissues/federalresources/federalstatutesregulationsandguida
nc/pages/fairlaborstandardsactof1938.aspx.Grossman, J.Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938: Maximum Struggle for a Minimum Wage.(1978). Retrieved from
http://www.dol.gov/dol/aboutdol/history/flsa1938.htm#*
.Offenheiser, R.Why Raise Minimum Wage?(2014). Retrieved from
http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/20/opinion/offenheiser-minimum-wage/
.Time for a Raise.(2013). Retrieved from
http://www.timeforaraise.org/benefits-
of-raising-the–minimum-wage/.United States Congress. (2013).S.460–Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. Retrieved from
https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/460
That is the example. Here is my rubric. I want my paper to look like the example above. Paper has to be four pages.I will assign a social welfare policy of national importance to each student in all the Social Welfare Policy and Services Sections. Each student will research her or his assigned policies and write policy backgrounders similar to the examples I have provided in the content section of eCourseware. We will review the policy backgrounders in small groups during class time and provide feedback. When the group is satisfied with the quality of the backgrounders, each student must submit a final electronic copy to the instructor for distribution. The purpose the backgrounder is to give you an understanding of the general process of policy analysis and to create a useful resource on important social welfare and other policy in the US for each student. For safe-keeping, each student must bring a ½ inch binder to store all policy backgrounders. Each policy backgrounder is a maximum of four single-spaced pages including references. You may or not write your name on the policy backgrounder, as you wish. You may be as creative with the design as you wish. Each backgrounder must include:
  • Problem that necessitates the policy
    • What is the problem that this policy is designed to solve?
    • Why does it matter?
    • Facts and statistics about the problem specifically
  • Policy description
    • Describe the policy in its entirety (but succinctly)
    • Use bulletpoints
    • Who benefits, when, how, how much, how often, etc.
  • History of the policy
    • Brief history of how the policy came to be
  • Arguments in favor and against the policy
    • What do those who favor this policy say about it?
    • Why is this a good policy?
    • What do those who oppose this policy say about it?
    • Why is this a bad policy?
  • Policy evaluation including statistics – this is where you say whether this is good, bad, indifferent, inadequate, excessive, etc.
  • Policy recommendations
    • What should we do about this policy?
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