Overview: Federal minimum wage law requires that all nonexempt employees be paid at least $7.25 for every hour they work; this is the federal minimum wage. Twenty-six states have (or will soon have) even higher minimum wages.
Since about 97 percent of the American workforce earns more than the minimum wage, very few employers need to concern themselves with this baseline requirement. Nevertheless, an employer that makes agreed-upon deductions from an employee's pay – for example, deductions for cleaning uniforms – must be careful that the deductions do not bring the employee's wage below the applicable minimum rate.
To comply with minimum wage laws, an employer can apply certain payments – most notably, tips that wait staff, bartenders and other tipped employees receive for service, and the cost of board and lodging – toward its minimum wage obligations.
Also, minimum wage laws allow certain employees – including students, workers with disabilities, messengers, apprentices and student-learners – to be paid at subminimum wages below the normal rate.
Trends: To help employees keep pace with the rising cost of living, 14 states adjust (or will adjust) their minimum wage rates based on the rate of inflation. Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would do the same in other states, and at the federal level.
Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor
HR departments should get ready now to comply with a wide variety of employment law requirements that are changing on July 1. Depending on the employer's presence in various jurisdictions, a number of workplace practices may be affected by legislative changes, ranging from employment contracts to payroll.
Updated to reflect final regulations defining an employer's location for purposes of Oregon's new three-region minimum wage.
San Diego and Washington, DC, are expected to join the growing ranks of municipalities around the country that have adopted local minimum wage hikes.
Updated to reflect trade secret protections under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, effective May 11, 2016.
Updated to reflect forthcoming FLSA overtime exemption requirements.
HR and legal considerations for employers regarding FLSA minimum wage laws. Support on following rules and regulations regarding this topic.