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FLSA: Vacation & Final Pay

While the FLSA sets minimum wage and overtime standards, plus regulates the employment of minors, there are a number of employment practices which FLSA does not regulate. Read more on the Purpose of FLSA in our previous blog.


There are many topics involving wage & hour that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not regulate.

The FLSA does not require:

  1. Pay for vacations, holidays or sick time.
  2. Breaks – for meals or rest, holidays off or vacation time.
  3. Premium pay – including weekend, holidays or different shifts.
  4. Pay raises or fringe benefits.
  5. Termination letter, a reason for termination or immediate payment of final wages to terminated employees.


Vacations, Holidays & Breaks  

The Fair Labor Standards Act does not require any vacation leave to be given and does not require holidays to be treated differently than any other day of the year. If employers choose to give premium pay or overtime pay for working on holidays, then that is their choice and benefit to employees.

Regarding break time; the Department of Labor explains, “Federal law does not require lunch or coffee breaks. However, when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks as compensable work hours that would be included in the sum of hours worked during the work week and considered in determining if overtime was worked. Unauthorized extensions of authorized work breaks need not be counted as hours worked when the employer has expressly and unambiguously communicated to the employee that the authorized break may only last for a specific length of time, that any extension of the break is contrary to the employer’s rules, and any extension of the break will be punished. Bona fide meal periods (typically lasting at least 30 minutes), serve a different purpose than coffee or snack breaks and, thus, are not work time and are not compensable.”


Final Pay

Federal law for final pay dictates; the last paycheck should include compensation for all time worked, including any overtime for non-exempt employees. Exempt employees’ final paycheck should not reflect extra deductions for discipline or property violations. If an employee’s last week is less than a full workweek the FLSA allows organizations to prorate the final paycheck and cover only days worked. Employers are not required to issue the paycheck immediately; they are allowed to wait until the next payroll period. However, some states have more strict requirements and do require final pay at an earlier time. For example, Florida law only requires the final paycheck to be given on the following payroll. Find your states final pay requirements at Find Law.



In need of sample policy and form templates for your organization? We offer a variety of templates including sample final pay policy, sample termination letters and sample holiday/vacation policy. Check out our Sample Forms section of our Members Only website; EAF Members Only



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EAF provides information about current developments in labor and employment law. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Questions requiring legal advice should be addressed to the attorney of your choice. EAF members may be able to obtain a legal interpretation through our FREE Legal Hotline.