Loophole Minimum Wage

Theater doesn't pay the minimum wage - is that legal? US Paywizard.org answers.

Question: August 2010

There is a movie theater where I live that doesn't pay minimum wage or overtime. Is there some loophole that allows them to do this? Or is it illegal?

Answer US Paywizard.org

Most states do have their own laws, but there's the federal minimum wage as well. More than 130 million American workers are covered by the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA ) for the federal minimum wage. 

Workers can be covered by FLSA in two ways:

Enterprise Coverage:  if you work for a business or organisations or an enterprise which employs at least two persons, and that has an annual dollar volume of sales or business done of at least $500,000. Or, if you work in a hospital, businesses providing medical or nursing care for residents, school or preschool, or government agency.

Individual Coverage: if your work regularly involve you in commerce between States ("interstate commerce"). Individuals are coverer if they are "engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce" - for example a secretary typing letters in an office - that will be sent out of state, regularly make telephone calls to persons located in other States, handle records of interstate transactions, travel to other States on their jobs, and do janitorial work in buildings where goods are produced for shipment outside the State. Or, if you are a domestic service worker - housekeeper, full-time babysitter, or a cook. 

See on the site of Labor Department more exempt professions.

If you're not sure whether the movie theater employer has violated the FLSA, please contact the nearest Wage and Hour District Office to discuss whether you should file a claim or not.