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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > Compliance Assistance > By Topic > Wages and Hours Worked > Industrial Homework / Piecework   

Wages and Hours Worked:

Industrial Homework / Piecework


Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), industrial homework means the production of goods by any covered person in a home, apartment, or room in a residential establishment, for an employer who permits or authorizes such production, regardless of the source of the materials used by the homeworker in such production. Employers must provide workers with handbooks to record time, expenses, and pay information.

Most types of homework are permitted under the FLSA. However, the performance of certain types of industrial homework is prohibited under the FLSA unless the employer has obtained prior certification from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division. Homework requires certification in only seven specific industries: women's apparel, jewelry manufacturing, knitted outerwear, gloves and mittens, button and buckle manufacturing, handkerchief manufacturing, and embroideries. Certification occurs when the employer obtains an employer certificate, or homeworkers obtain individual certification, from the Department's Wage and Hour Division, authorizing such work. Certified employers of homeworkers in these industries will be required to renew their certificate every two years.

Employer certification is not available for women's apparel and certain hazardous jewelry manufacturing operations; only individual certification is permitted. Homework under the FLSA is not restricted in any industry other than those listed above. However, all individually covered homework is subject to the FLSA minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements.



  • Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act - Answers many questions about the FLSA and gives information about certain occupations that are exempt from the Act.
  • Filing a complaint - DOL's Wage and Hour Division manages complaints regarding violations of the various laws and regulations it administers. To file a complaint concerning one of these laws, contact your nearest Wage and Hour Division office or call the Department's Toll-Free Wage and Hour HelpLine at 1-866-4-US-WAGE.




Every covered employer must keep certain records for each non-exempt worker. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires no particular form for the records, but does require that the records include certain identifying information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. For a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain, see the FLSA recordkeeping fact sheet. When employing homeworkers, a separate homeworker handbook is required.


  • 29 CFR Part 530 - Regulations pertaining to the employment of homeworkers in certain industries.



  • Employment Standards Administration (ESA)
    Wage and Hour Division
    200 Constitution Avenue, NW
    Room S-3502
    Washington, DC 20210
    Contact WHD
    Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
    TTY: 1-877-889-5627
    Local Offices

  • For questions on other DOL laws,
    please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL. Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
    Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL 
    TTY: 1-877-889-5627

*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.

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