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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a complex federal law that was first enacted in 1938. Its main purposes include regulating overtime pay, establishing the federal minimum wage, and enacting child labor protections. Vermont’s wage laws and regulations are similar, except Vermont employers must pay the state’s minimum wage rate, since it is higher than the federal rate.

The FLSA has been updated only occasionally over the decades. The most recent change, announced September 27, 2019 and effective  January 1, 2020, raised the minimum salary required for employees who currently qualify as exempt under the DOL’s executive, administrative, or professional FLSA exemption (provided that the position also involves the required job duties). For details, please see VLCT’s online announcement and the U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet 17A.

The FLSA has several important differences for municipalities. Examples include: local government’s ability to offer compensatory time for overtime hours worked, up to a certain limit; legal differences regarding public safety positions; and the fact that elected officials are not covered by the FLSA.

For further assistance in complying with the FLSA, please contact Steven McKinney, Community Outreach & Resources Planning Specialist, U.S. Department of Labor. Steven is invariably friendly and helpful and may be reached by phone at 603-606-3125 or by email mckinney.steven@dol.gov.