What are Delaware Labor Laws?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal act, which sets the minimum wage threshold for employees across the U.S. It also specifies the remuneration rate for overtime and weekend employment among other standards. Each state can legislate their payment and hour laws as long as the rules are higher than those established by the federal government.
The federal threshold for minimum wage, as of July 24th, 2009, is $7.25 per hour. Delaware's minimum pay is $8.25 per hour, from June 1, 2015. However, effective January 1, 2019, it has been increased to $8.75 and will go up further to $9.25 per hour from October 1, 2019. Tipped employees are those employees who receive tips of over $30 per month. For this labor force, the wage rate is set at a minimum of $2.23 per hour. Employers who violate the minimum price are liable to pay a fine of $1,000 to $4,000 per violation.
Employees with disabilities – can be paid a wage lower than the minimum rate if the employer is approved Delaware's Department of Labor. The price should be at least 75% of the threshold set by the state. However, it can be lower if the Department of Labor approves it. Likewise, disabled trainees can be paid a minimum wage not lower than 50% of the threshold, for a maximum of 90 days, as long as their employers seek and are given permission.
Apprentices – have to be paid the minimum wage in line with standard rates.
Learners, student leaners and workers – have to be compensated as per the minimum wage, unless the employers are exempt from doing so.
For a list of federal minimum wage exemptions visit - https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/federal-employment-and-labor-laws/flsa/exemptions/
Delaware does not have a minimum threshold set for overtime pay, which means employers have to stick to the base limit set by the FLSA. Federal law stipulates that employees who work over 40 hours per week should be compensated at a rate of one and a half times their hourly rate, for each additional hour worked. The FLSA defines a workweek as a period of 40 hours in a recurring cycle of 168 hours, irrespective of which day of the week the cycle commences.
For a list of federal overtime, exemptions go to -
Staff who have employed a minimum of 7.5 hours per day must receive a minimum meal break of at least 30 minutes. The break should not fall between the first or last two hours of employment. Exceptions to this rule are employees certified by the State Board of Education who work in a local school board, directly with children. Also, different meal break terms are permissible, if both the employer and employee agree. Meal breaks may or may not be paid at the employer’s discretion.
Vacation and holiday leave
In the state of Delaware, employers are not mandated to provide any paid or unpaid vacation benefits or holiday leave. If an employer offers benefits for vacation or holiday leave, they must do so in line with the company’s established policy or contract terms agreed to with the employee. If there are no policy or contract stipulations regarding accrued vacation leave payment, employers are within their legal right to deny these payments. At the time of separation of employment, accumulated vacation leave may or may not be paid.
It depends on the policy established and contractual terms of the employment agreement. Employers can also legally refuse accrued vacation leave payments if terminated employees do not meet specific criteria. Failure to hand in an agreed upon notice period, or not staying employed for an agreed upon period may disqualify an employee from being paid accrued vacation. Private sector employees can get paid for working on holidays if they meet the overtime threshold or other criteria established under the FLSA.
In Delaware, the provision of sick leave, paid or unpaid, is left up to the employer's discretion. Any ill leave benefits though must reflect the policy or terms agreed upon in the employee's contract. However, The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) states that employers with 50 or more employees, entitles employees with up to 3 months of unpaid leave in certain circumstances. These include care of an employee's or an immediate family member's serious health condition and the birth and care of an employee’s child or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee. Specific criteria have to be met to qualify for this leave.
An amendment to the act, in line with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), permits an immediate family member of a “member of the Armed Forces” to be granted unpaid sick leave of up to 26 weeks to care for that individual if under treatment.
Child labor laws
The FLSA states that children under 14 years are banned from working unless they perform certain types of work. These include but are not limited to – newspaper delivery, acting or performing and being employed in their parent’s non-hazardous business. Kids who are 14 to 15 years are permitted to work for a stipulated maximum number of hours and only in specified occupations. Those in the category of 16 to 17 years can be employed, except in industries that the Department of Labor deems hazardous.
For further details, visit - https://dia.delawareworks.com/labor-law/child-labor.php/labor-law/child-labor.php.
For more information on Delaware’s labor laws, including severance pay, go to - https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/state-employment-and-labor-laws/delaware/