Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nice map showing State by State comparison of Minimum Wages. Why does it vary from State to State? Find out why HERE.

I think there is some confusion regarding the way the minimum wage is set in the US.

The Federal Government, through the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, sets a uniform minimum wage which applies to all 50 US States.   Currently that is $7.25 per hour. It is lower for some other classes of workers (see excerpts below the map for examples).

However, each individual State has the discretion to set it ABOVE the Federal mandate if they so desire.  This map shows a State by State comparison of the prevailing minimum wage.

There are LOTS of interesting exceptions to the minimum wage law.  Here is a link to the Dept of Labor FAQ page that explains these exceptions.
Source: MinimunWage.org
There are LOTS of interesting exceptions to the minimum wage law. Here is a link to the Dept of Labor FAQ page that explains these exceptions.

Here is the most common one I hear from students:

What is the minimum wage for workers who receive tips?
An employer may pay a tipped employee not less than $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equal at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.
Some states have minimum wage laws specific to tipped employees. When an employee is subject to both the federal and state wage laws, the employee is entitled to the provisions of each law which provide the greater benefits.

What minimum wage exceptions apply to full-time students?
The Full-time Student Program is for full-time students employed in retail or service stores, agriculture, or colleges and universities. The employer that hires students can obtain a certificate from the Department of Labor which allows the student to be paid not less than 85% of the minimum wage. The certificate also limits the hours that the student may work to 8 hours in a day and no more than 20 hours a week when school is in session and 40 hours when school is out, and requires the employer to follow all child labor laws. Once students graduate or leave school for good, they must be paid $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

Must young workers be paid the minimum wage?
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 with an employer, as long as their work does not displace other workers. After 90 consecutive days of employment or the employee reaches 20 years of age, whichever comes first, the employee must receive a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

Other programs that allow for payment of less than the 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 the employment of young workers.
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