Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ > Employment Law FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions



Are there any exemptions to the FLSA?
Some employees are exempt from the overtime pay provisions or both the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions. Because exemptions are generally narrowly defined under the FLSA, an employer should carefully check the exact terms and conditions for each. Examples include executive, administrative, and professional employees (including teachers and academic administrative personnel in elementary and secondary schools), outside sales employees, and employees in certain computer-related occupations.

Is my business covered by the FMLA?
The FMLA applies to all public agencies, including state, local and federal employers, local education agencies (schools), andprivate-sector employers who employed 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, including joint employers and successors of covered employers.

Is my business covered by USERRA?
USERRA covers virtually every individual in the country who serves in or has served in the uniformed services and applies to all employers in the public and private sectors, including Federal employers.

What are the FLSA’s basic wage standards?
Covered, nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. (NOTE: Ohio’s current minimum wage is $7.70 (scheduled to increase to $7.85 on 1/1/2013), and $7.25 for employers grossing $283,000 or less per year). Nonexempt workers must be paid overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular rates of pay after 40 hours of work in a workweek.
There are a number of employment practices which the FLSA does not regulate. For example, the FLSA does not require:
  • vacation, holiday, severance, or sick pay;
  • meal or rest periods, holidays off, or vacations;
  • premium pay for weekend or holiday work;
  • pay raises or fringe benefits; or
  • the number of hours in a day or days in a week an employee may be required or scheduled to work, including overtime hours, if the employee is at least 16 years old. 
These matters are for agreement between the employer and the employees, or may be regulated by state law.

What is the FLSA?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. MANY STATES HAVE ADDITIONAL WAGE AND HOUR REQUIREMENTS

What is the FMLA?
The Family and Medical Leave Act (“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. 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 service member with a serious injury or illness. 

What is USERRA?

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”) is a federal law intended to ensure that persons who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard or other “uniformed services:” (1) are not disadvantaged in their civilian careers because of their service; (2) are promptly reemployed in their civilian jobs upon their return from duty; and (3) are not discriminated against in employment based on past, present, or future military service.

What kinds of job protection are afforded to employees who use FMLA leave?
Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee must be restored to the employee’s original job, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.  
It is unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided by the FMLA.  It is also unlawful for an employer to discharge or discriminate against any individual for opposing any practice, or because of involvement in any proceeding, related to the FMLA.

What records am I required to keep under the FLSA?
With respect to an employee subject to the minimum wage provisions or both the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions, the following records must be kept:
  • personal information, including employee’s name, home address, occupation, sex, and birth date if under 19 years of age;
  • hour and day when workweek begins;
  • total hours worked each workday and each workweek;
  • total daily or weekly straight-time earnings;
  • regular hourly pay rate for any week when overtime is worked;
  • total overtime pay for the workweek;
  • deductions from or additions to wages;
  • total wages paid each pay period; and
  • date of payment and pay period covered.

What rights do service members have under USERRA?
Reemployment: USERRA provides that returning service-members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service (the long-standing "escalator" principle), with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. The law clearly provides for alternative reemployment positions if the service member cannot qualify for the "escalator" position.
Continuation of benefits: USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, he or she is deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and is entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence. Health and pension plan coverage for service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102 percent of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the service member had remained employed.
Equal Employment Opportunities: USERRA protects all members of the uniformed services from discrimination in employment regardless of whether their uniformed service was in the past, present or future. The discrimination provisions of USERRA, set forth in section 4311, address problems regarding initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion, or any other benefit of employment.

What types of conditions qualify for FMLA leave?
An eligible employee may use leave:
  • for the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition;
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; or
  • for qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or call to active duty status as a member of the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation.
  • A covered employer also must grant an eligible employee who is a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, with a serious injury or illness up to a total of 26 workweeks of unpaid leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for the service member.

When is an employee eligible for FMLA leave?
To be eligible for FMLA benefits, an employee must:
  • work for a covered employer;
  • have worked for the employer for a total of 12 months;
  • have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months; and
  • work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.