For business owners in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the laws governing employees’ hours and pay are based for the most part upon the standards set forth in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A landmark piece of legislation, the FLSA includes firm requirements that impact both public and private sector employees.
The original statute was enacted in 1938, but it has been amended on several occasions in the subsequent years. Minimum wage, the number of hours worked, child labor matters, overtime pay and recordkeeping are all covered under the law. The following is a rundown of these requirements:
Minimum wage: The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour applies to most businesses in the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, employers are permitted to pay employees at lower rates in some circumstances. For example, very small businesses that have gross annual receipts amounting to less than $150,000 are allowed to pay a minimum wage of $4.15 per hour. New employees under the age of 20 have a minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for their first 90 days of employment. And full-time students working up to 20 hours per week in certain jobs may be paid $6.16 per hour.
For employees who earn tips, the minimum wage is $2.13 per hour — although employers must ensure that their total pay, with tips, amounts to at least $7.25 an hour.
Overtime pay: When working more than 40 hours in a week, employees are entitled to at least 1.5 times the minimum wage. U.S. Virgin Islands law also requires employers to provide time-and-a-half pay for any time worked above 8 hours in a single day. However, many employees would like a change to this law so that they can enjoy greater scheduling flexibility.
Employees 16 years of age or older may work an unlimited number of hours per week, provided overtime pay is properly provided. Overtime pay is not required for holiday or weekend work unless overtime hours are actually worked.
Hours worked: The FLSA standard for hours worked states that the time in which an employee is either on the employer’s premises, on duty or working off-premises at an arranged workplace are considered hours worked for the purposes of wage calculation and scheduling.
Recordkeeping: The FLSA mandates that employers keep accurate and thorough accounts of employees’ hours worked, as well as accurate records of pay. Businesses and organizations must also post FLSA information in a location accessible to all employees.
Child labor: Minors are prohibited from working in certain jobs and conditions that could be hazardous to their physical health or wellbeing.
Remaining in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act is critical for all business owners, but the specifics of the law can be complex, especially for certain types of businesses and organizations. If you have questions about how the law applies to your business or believe your organization might be exempt from certain provisions of the FLSA, speak with a skilled employment law attorney.
BoltNagi is a well-established and widely respected employment and business law firm serving clients throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.