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Other Important Federal Laws > Worker's Compensation - Pg. 98

Staffing Up Fair Labor Standards Act 98 The Fair Labor Standards Act protects wage workers by regulating minimum wage, overtime, and child labor practices. It applies to all businesses engaged in interstate commerce (your state's leg- islation may extend the protections to all businesses, regardless of whether they engage in interstate business). It only protects non-salaried employees and children. It does not apply to independent contractors. Employers may not pay a non-exempt (see below for exemptions) employee less than the federal minimum wage ($5.15 as of March 2003) per hour worked and 1.5 times that wage for all time worked in excess of forty hours per workweek. Minors: The FLSA regulates the use of minors (those under 18). Many of the rules have to do with the hours that minors can work and the kind of work they can do. See sidebar: "Hiring Kids" for a complete guide to the child labor experience. Exempt Employees: Some employees are exempt from the FLSA, meaning that an employer is not required to pay them overtime. Employees must have certain responsibilities that they fulfill on an unsupervised basis to qualify as exempt. Exempt positions usually include executive, administrative, professional/salaried workers, and salespeople/commission workers. Note CAUTION While many computer programmersare considered administrative employees, the Depart- ment of Labor hasdecreed that those solely performingdebugging work or translating narrative into code are not exempt. Hiring Kids Game development is a young business to begin with, and its labor force tends to be directed at a very young age.This is an extremely democratic, merit-based business, and many companies elect to make use of skilled and enthusiastic minors, whether as artists, programmers, testers, or interns. Two rules to follow: 1. 2. Have a legal guardian co-sign all documents.A minor employee and his legal guardian must sign, at the very least, an NDA and an assignment of all IP, if not a full employment agreement. Observe the FLSA laws.The FLSA has two sets of rules for office work, one for 16-17-year-olds, who may be employed for unlimited hours in any occupation, and another for 14- and 15-year-olds, who may work outside of school hours, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (9 p.m. during the summer) in certain jobs for up to: 3 hours on a school day 18 hours in a school week 8 hours on a non-school day 40 hours in a non-school week Note that many states further regulate the hours that workers under age 18 may work, so check with your State Department of Labor. Worker's Compensation These statutes regulate businesses' insuring against worker injury sustained on the job, and the remedies and recoveries available to those injured workers. Workers are entitled to benefits re- gardless of blame (though a worker will not receive benefits if he was intoxicated, violating safety codes, or committing a crime when injured), but the benefits are generally limited to medical treat- ment, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. Except in rare cases, a worker Note NOTE