The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects workers by mandating minimum wage be paid and any time worked over 40 hours in a workweek be paid at 150 percent of the worker's hourly rate. The Act, enacted in 1938, was designed to ensure that "each employee covered by the Act would receive a fair day's pay for a fair day's work and would be protected from the evil of overwork as well as underpay."

Employers are not required to pay overtime for workers deemed exempt from this regulation. The Act has been updated seven times since 1938. Updates have included salary increases and interpretations of exemptions. The last update was in 2004. Generally to be considered exempt, the employee must meet three criteria: Salary basis, salary level and duties tests.

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