The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards for basic wages, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor.
Each library employee must be paid not less than the minimum wage. Library employees must be paid for hours worked and may not volunteer time without pay. For information on Iowa’s minimum wage, contact the Iowa Department of Workforce Development at 515-281-5387 or 800-562-4692 (toll free) or visit the agency’s website at http://www.iowaworkforce.org/. As of this writing Iowa’s minimum wage is $7.25.
Paying library staff while they attend training. According to an FAQ on the Iowa Workforce Development website, “If any such gathering is required by an employer, or if an employer leads its employees to believe they will receive adverse treatment for not attending, the employer must pay its employees for the time spent in attendance." See http://www.iowaworkforce.org/labor/wagefaqs.pdf
Within the public library are employees who are exempt and those who are non-exempt from the FLSA regulations; one of the deciding criteria is whether the employee has independent decision-making authority. The director of a public library is usually an exempt employee if he or she directs a staff of at least two. Those employees who do not have independent decision-making authority, even if they have a library science degree, are non-exempt from the FLSA. To determine whether a position is exempt or non-exempt, call the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Iowa office at 515-284-4625 or visit the department’s website at http://www.dol.gov.
Non-exempt employees must be paid overtime at a rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular rates of pay after 40 hours of work in a workweek. A workweek is defined as seven consecutive 24 hour periods, fixed and regularly occurring; each workweek stands alone. Time off may be granted within the workweek if the employee has reached 40 hours before the end of the week. In other words, an employee may work 10 hours each day, four days straight within the workweek without being paid overtime. However, if the employee works 45 hours during one workweek and 35 hours during the next, five hours of overtime must be paid.
For libraries in the public sector, compensatory time may be given in lieu of overtime, but must be given at the rate of “time and a half” to non-exempt employees.
The FLSA requires that employers keep records on wages, hours, and other items, as specified in Department of Labor recordkeeping regulations. Most of the information is the kind generally maintained by employers; the records do not have to be kept in any particular form and time clocks need not be used. For more information, contact the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Iowa office at 515-284-4625 or visit the department’s website at http://www.dol.gov.
Child labor standards. Fourteen is the minimum age for library work; youths 14 and 15 years old may work at the library outside of school hours under the following conditions:
- no more than 3 hours per school day and 18 hours in the school week
- no more than 8 hours on a non-school day or 40 hours in a non-school week
- work may not begin before 7:00 a.m. or continue after 7:00 p.m. except from June 1 through Labor Day when permissible evening hours are extended to 9:00 p.m.
A library may hire youths 16 years of age and older to work unlimited hours within the guidelines of the FLSA.