Minimum Wage Q & As

question-mark-63979_640Q. How much is the federal minimum wage?

A. The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is currently $7.25 per hour.  Many states also have minimum wage laws.  If an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage rate.  Various minimum wage exceptions apply under certain circumstances.

Q. What happens if state law requires a higher minimum wage than federal law?

A. If state law requires a higher minimum wage, the higher standard applies.

Q. What is the minimum wage for workers who receive tips?

A. An employer can pay a tipped employee not less than $2.13 an hour in wages if that amount, plus tips, equal at least the federal minimum wage; the employee retains all tips; and the employee regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips.  If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s $2.13-an-hour wage do not equal the federal minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.

Some states have minimum wage laws for tipped employees.  An employee is entitled to the provisions of each law that provide the greater benefits.

Q. Do teenagers have to be paid the minimum wage?

A. A minimum wage of $4.25 per hour applies to young workers under the age of 20 during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment, as long as their work doesn’t displace other workers.  After 90 consecutive days or when the employee turns 20 (whichever comes first), the employee must receive minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Other programs that allow less-than-full federal minimum wage apply to workers with disabilities, full-time students, and student-learners employed pursuant to sub-minimum wage certificates.  These programs are not limited to young workers.


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