Washington Law Review


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1938 in response to oppressive working conditions and a depressed economy. While FLSA's overtime provisions may have been responsive to the workplace of the 1930s, they are now outdated in the flexible, service-oriented economy of the 1990s and in need of revision. FLSA's salary basis test and corresponding inconsistent treatment of straight-time overtime payments are examples of excessively wooden provisions. Originally adopted to separate well-compensated white-collar employees from blue-collar line workers in need of statutory protection, the salary basis test no longer effectively serves as a gatekeeper for FLSA's overtime provisions. The DOL should promulgate regulations that allow the payment of straight-time overtime to well-paid workers and in doing so follow the lead of the Washington State Legislature.

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