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
Initiatives to raise the minimum wage will appear on the ballot November 4 in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota, as well as three cities in California: San Francisco, Oakland and Eureka. Polls show that a majority of voters support the initiatives.
Two new entries have been added to the Legal Timetable, and the Employment Law Manual and a Quick Reference Chart were updated to reflect the announcement of an upcoming inflation adjustment to Arizona's minimum wage rate.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Arizona employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
Many states have minimum wage requirements. This Quick Reference chart sets forth the state minimum wage rates for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
The Minimum Wage, FMLA, Other Leaves and Employee Communications sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated after the San Diego City Council repealed its new minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinance.
Two new entries have been added to the Legal Timetable, and the Employment Law Manual and a Quick Reference Chart were updated to reflect the announcement of an upcoming inflation adjustment to Florida's minimum wage rate.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Florida employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to minimum wage.
HR guidance on complying with federal and state minimum wage laws.