Some employers think they can ignore federal wage-and-hour rules because they are small and don’t hit the $500,000 annual sales volume required to be covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (). That rarely works because merely engaging in interstate commerce by using uniforms and cleaning supplies may be enough.
Recent case: Chang lost her job at a bakery and sued, alleging that for years the owner hadn’t paid her minimum wage and overtime.
The bakery tried to get the case dismissed by producing tax records that showed it made just $250,000 in sales per year. The court refused. It noted that Chang cleaned bathrooms, baked cakes and wore a uniform—all activities that were probably performed using products that had crossed state lines at some point. Her case moves forward. (Lin v. Yeh’s Bakery, No. 12-CV-2146, ED NY, 2013)