The labor laws in the United States can be, at times, very confusing. Ever wonder why waiters at a restaurant can be paid as little as $2.13 while the federal minimum wage is over three times higher? How much is the minimum wage? Why is overtime pay 1.5x regular pay for nonexempt employees but not required for exempt employees? What does exempt actually mean?
All those questions and more are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) which has, over the years, been amended several times to reflect changing times, most notably the include anti-discrimination laws and to raise the minimum wage. The most recent change was the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, signed by President Bush, which raised the federal minimum wage in increments to where it stands today.
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