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Fair Labor Standards Act

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The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs, but is not limited to setting a minimum hourly wage, establishing a minimum age to work, identifying compensable hours, and defining overtime and overtime compensation.

These apply to the New Mexico Judicial Branch.

Prior approval is required to overtime being worked. For clarification as to your FLSA status please contact your Judicial Entity’s Human Resources Professional or contact AOC HRD.

Basic Wage Standards

Employees are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $7.25 an hour, effective July 24, 2009.

Types of Employees

The FLSA identifies two types of employees: “non-exempt” and “exempt”. One of the requirements of the FLSA is for an employer to determine the exemption status of each employee.

Non-Exempt Employees

Non-exempt employees are covered by the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA and are entitled to overtime compensation at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a work week. Compensation may be monetary or in compensatory time.

Exempt Employees

Exempt employees are not covered by the FLSA’s regulations pertaining to overtime and may receive compensatory time at straight time for hours worked beyond 80 in a pay period. Compensation is typically compensatory time (see NMJBPR). Exempt employees received an exemption determination due to their position’s responsibilities and rate of pay; exemptions include Executive, Administrative, Professional, and Computer Employee.

Time Worked for Overtime Purposes

In addition to an employee’s regular schedule work hours, time worked includes training and workshop time, travel time required by management and voting time. See the NMJBPR Glossary of Terms for more information.

Breaks and Meal Period

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require an employer to provide time for breaks and meal periods. [Note: Non-exempt employees approved to work a flexible schedule are required to schedule at least a ½ hour each day for lunch.]


It is important to remember that breaks are not mandatory. Employees may be permitted one 15 minute mid-morning break and one 15 minute mid-afternoon break. Breaks cannot be accumulated, cannot cover for later arrival to work, extended lunch hours, or early departure from work. The time spent on authorized breaks must be counted as worked.

Meal Periods

Even though the FLSA does not require employers to provide meal periods, it does stipulate that if one does exist, at least 30 minutes or more constitute a bona fide meal period. Meal periods are not counted as work time. Normally, employees remove themselves from the work location and are therefore not performing any duties. However, when an employee remains at the work location and while eating performs any job-related duties, other than incidental ones (such as answering a question), the time must be counted as hours worked. Supervisors may adjust an employee’s work schedule to prevent an overtime situation when an employee works during a meal period.

Suffered Or Permitted Work Hours

Although there are some standard times or peak periods when overtime might be required, normally the need to work overtime is for special situations and overtime must be requested and approved prior to working the additional hours. Work not requested and approved but suffered or permitted is still considered hours worked. This may occur when an employee begins to work prior to the beginning of the day, during lunch hours, or continues to work at the end of the day without approval. When the supervisor has knowledge of or has reason to believe that the employee is working additional hours that have not been requested and approved, the hours must be counted as hours worked.

If you are an employee please contact your court’s Human Resources Professional or ADA Coordinator or you may speak to AOC HRD.

To view the New Mexico Judicial Branch Personnel Rules including Section 3.04 Overtime and the Glossary click here.

U.S. Department of Labor

Wage and Hour Division:

Compliance Assistance

Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act