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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses

- Fair Labor Standards Act Advisor

Construction Activities

Construction employees may be individually covered by the FLSA when they (1) engage in interstate commerce  or in the production of goods for interstate commerce or (2) work in a job which is closely related and directly essential to such production.

Employees of construction firms maybe subject to the FLSA when they work on certain types of projects. To determine if you are covered in these situations, you must analyze the character of the construction project. The FLSA covers construction work in or on a channel or facility of interstate commerce (i.e. highway, telephone lines, etc). The FLSA also covers construction work which is closely tied with the process of producing goods for interstate commerce, for example, construction which improves, replaces, or expands a covered production facility that ships its products across state lines. Covered construction activity includes:

(1) Repair, maintenance, and construction of instrumentalities of interstate commerce. An instrumentality of interstate commerce includes railroads, highways and city streets, pipe lines, telephone and/or electrical transmission lines, airports, bus/truck/steamship terminals, radio or TV stations and river/streams/waterways over which interstate or foreign commerce regularly moves.

(2) Repair, maintenance, reconstruction, redesign, improvement or extension or enlargement of an existing facility engaged in the production of goods for interstate commerce. The construction of a new production facility would not be a covered project.

An employee working on projects such as these is considered to be essential to interstate commerce or the production of goods for interstate commerce. Analyze the projects on which you work and answer the following question.

Are you engaged in any of the construction activities listed under (1) or (2) above?