State or Federal Law? It Isn’t a Choice.

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Many laws have both a federal and a state equivalent. There is the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires overtime for all non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours during a workweek, as well as the Minnesota FLSA, which requires employers to pay overtime only after 48 hours per week. In addition, Title VII, the ADA and the ADEA are federal law that protect against discrimination in the workplace, while the Minnesota Human Rights Act is the state law that provides the same, as well as expanded, protections. How does a business know which law applies?
Whether an employer is subject to state or federal law isn’t a choice. It can depend on various factors, such as size or annual revenue. The federal FLSA applies only to employers with $500,000 or more in gross annual revenue. It also has many exceptions to who isn’t entitled to overtime, such as agricultural employees or personal care assistants. The Minnesota FLSA has fewer exceptions and covers all employers, regardless of size or annual revenue. Title VII and the ADA apply to employers with 15 or more employees and the ADEA to those with 20 or more, while the Minnesota Human Rights Act applies to employers with 1 employee or more. However, only employers with 15 or more employees are required to make accommodations to a disabled employee under both federal and state law.
Depending on which law applies, employers will have different obligations. It is best to check carefully to know exactly what your requirements are under the law and to make sure that you aren’t unknowingly violating the law.


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