State and Local Governments

State and Local Governments Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

State and local government employers consist of those entities that are defined as public agencies by the FLSA. “Public Agency” is defined to mean the Government of the United States; the government of a State or political subdivision thereof; any agency of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision of a State, or any interstate governmental agency. The public agency definition does not extend to private companies that are engaged in work activities normally performed by public employees.


Section 3(s)(1)(C) of the FLSA covers all public agency employees of a State, a political subdivision of a State, or an interstate government agency.


The FLSA requires employers to:

  • pay at least the Federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) to all covered non-exempt employees for all hours worked
  • pay at least one and one-half times the employees' regular rates of pay for all hours worked over 40 in the workweek
  • comply with the child labor standards
  • comply with the recordkeeping requirements

Under certain prescribed conditions, employees of State or local government agencies may receive compensatory time off at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked, instead of cash overtime pay. Police and fire fighters, emergency response personnel, and employees engaged in seasonal activities may accrue up to 480 hours of comp time; all others, 240 hours.