HR Support on Federal and State Minimum Wage Laws

Editor's Note: What's the least an employee may be paid?

Michael CardmanOverview: 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

Latest items in Minimum Wage

  • Minimum Wage: Missouri

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Missouri employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Local Minimum Wages Trend Rolls to Kansas City, Missouri

    Date:
    17 July 2015
    Type:
    News

    Kansas City, Missouri, has passed an ordinance that will establish a local minimum wage of $8.50 an hour on August 24, 2015, and then gradually increase the minimum wage each year until it reaches $13.00 in 2020. After 2020, the minimum wage will be adjusted for inflation each year.

  • Rhode Island Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees to Increase: Employment Law Manual Updated, Legal Timetable Entry Added

    Date:
    14 July 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Under a new law, Rhode Island's minimum cash wage for tipped employees will increase from $2.89 to $3.39 on January 1, 2016, and to $3.89 on January 1, 2017.

  • Date:
    14 July 2015
    Type:
    Legal Timetable

  • Minimum Wage: Rhode Island

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Rhode Island employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Texas

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Texas employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

  • Minimum Wage: Maine

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of Maine employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to mnimum wage.

  • Multistate Employer: Federal

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    This section helps HR professionals manage challenges that come with operating in multiple states, notably complying with differing state and key municipal laws, and addresses the pros and cons of having a centralized or decentralized HR department. Trends currently affecting multistate employers are identified, such as same-sex marriage laws and tracking various state leave laws, are discussed.

  • Salary Basis Test

    Type:
    Employment Glossary

    Employment glossary definition of Salary Basis Test.

  • Minimum Wage: California

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    In-depth review of the spectrum of California employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.

About this topic

HR and legal considerations for employers regarding FLSA minimum wage laws. Support on following rules and regulations regarding this topic.