Receiving Unemployment Benefits

The United States Department of Labor governs employment practices that strictly outline the standards affecting employees in local, state, and federal governments. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. According to the FLSA, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, however many states have their own minimum wage laws. According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training the minimum wage in Rhode Island is $8.00 per hour. The FLSA also regulates the pay for hours worked over a 40 hour workweek, at “a rate no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay” (Fair Labor Standards Act).

According to the FLSA, the legal meaning of hours worked is “all time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed workplace” (U.S. Wage and Hour Division). Employers must keep records of their employees’ time and pay. The act also encourages child employment opportunities that are educational while prohibiting child employment in jobs under detrimental health or well-being conditions.

Violations may occur when employers fail to pay overtime rates or for the duties required of employees before or after office hours such as running errands and attending meetings. Federal and state laws strictly outline the rules and expectations of employers. If you believe you have been treated unfairly a Providence personal injury lawyer may be able to review your unemployment benefit case and, if appropriate, file a complaint under the FLSA.