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Enforcement, Liability, Prevention and Defense: Federal

Author: Peter J. Gillespie, Fisher Phillips


  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is enforced primarily through investigations by the US Department of Labor (DOL) and private lawsuits by employees. See Enforcement.
  • Employers that violate the FLSA may be held liable for back wages, attorney fees, civil penalties and even imprisonment. See Liability.
  • Audits, supervisor training and other actions can help prevent FLSA claims, or limit damages in the event of a claim. See Prevention.
  • In the event of a DOL investigation or employee lawsuit, there are several issues that HR, in consultation with management, should consider. See Defense.