Wholesale and Warehouse Industries

Wholesale and Warehouse Industries Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The wholesale industry is characterized by the sale of goods for resale, rather than sales to the ultimate consumer.

The warehouse industry includes central warehouses for a business enterprise, public warehouses, and storage establishments.


The FLSA sets basic minimum wage and overtime pay standards and regulates the employment of minors. Covered, nonexempt employees must be paid the Federal minimum wage. Non exempt employees must also be paid time and one-half their regular rates of pay for all hours worked over 40 per workweek, regardless of whether paid an hourly rate, salary, piece rate, commission or other basis. Each workweek stands alone and there can be no averaging of hours over two or more workweeks.

Typical Problems

There are some problems and misconceptions which Wage and Hour investigations commonly disclose in the wholesale and warehouse industry. These include:
  • The misapplication of the executive or administrative exemptions to non-exempt persons, such as clerical workers, working foremen, dispatchers, and inside salespersons.
  • The misconception that salaried employees need not be paid overtime.
  • Failure to pay employees for all hours suffered or permitted to work, including time spent taking inventory, completing paperwork, etc. beyond the normal schedule.
  • Failure to maintain time records on salaried or piece rate employees.
  • Giving compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.
  • Considering certain employees to be “contract labor” and thus, not covered by the Act's provisions.
Deductions made for reasons other than board, lodging, etc., in overtime work weeks.