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. Nineteen states 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, ten states have indexed their minimum wage rates to the rate of inflation. Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would do the same in other states, and at the federal level. No bills have passed yet, but if the economy improves, it's a fair bet that some will start to be enacted.
Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor
Joint enforcement actions taken by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in cooperation with state labor agencies continue to bear fruit.
California has long been among the most active states when it comes to employment law. Anthony Oncidi, head of the labor and employment law group at the Los Angeles office of Proskauer Rose, discusses recent changes in the law plus other key challenges affecting California employers.
California is a bellwether state when it comes to employment law, and 2013 did nothing to diminish that reputation. In this new XpertHR podcast, management-side attorney Anthony Oncidi discusses key developments from the past year affecting California employers. Oncidi heads the labor and employment law group in the Los Angeles office of Proskauer Rose.
Employees of the uniform services provider had alleged that the company's policy of rounding their punch-in and punch-out times to the nearest 15 minutes, combined with its strict attendance policy in which employees are disciplined for punching in more than five minutes late, resulted in employees being underpaid by 30 to 40 minutes per pay period.
As mandated by the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights, employers subject to the North Dakota Minimum Wage and Work Conditions Order must post the North Dakota Minimum Wage and Work Conditions Summary poster.
As mandated by the Ohio Department of Commerce, every employer covered by the Ohio minimum wage laws must post Ohio 2013 Minimum Wage poster.
As mandated by the Oklahoma Department of Labor, every employer covered by the Oklahoma Minimum Wage Act must post the Oklahoma Minimum Wage poster.
As mandated by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, all agricultural employers in Oregon must post the Oregon Agricultural Minimum Wage poster.
As mandated by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, all employers in Oregon, except federal government employers, must post the Oregon Minimum Wage poster.
The Minimum Wage and Employee Classification sections of the Employment Law Manual now include information about upcoming changes to the minimum salary requirements for executive and administrative employees, to the minimum wage credit for tipped employees and to the allowances for meals, lodging and uniforms.
HR guidance on complying with federal and state minimum wage laws.