Labor and Employment

Minimum Wage Hike Alert

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour as of July 24, 2009. This new federal minimum wage applies to covered non-exempt workers. Such things as your type of employment, where you work and your age can alter the legal minimum hourly wage your employer is required to pay.

Covered Worker

The federal minimum wage law, Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), applies to employers that do at least $500,000 in business a year. It also applies to smaller firms if the employees are engaged in interstate commerce, such as employees who work in transportation or communications or who regularly use the mail or telephone for interstate communications. It also applies to employees of federal, state or local government agencies, hospitals and schools and it generally applies to domestic workers.

Special Exemptions

Under the FLSA, executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees are exempted from the minimum wage requirements of the FLSA, if they meet certain tests regarding job duties and responsibilities and are compensated on a salary basis.

Specific Exceptions

Various minimum wage exceptions apply under specific circumstances to workers with disabilities, full-time students, youth under age 20, tipped employees and student-learners.

Therefore, you must be covered, not exempt and not fall within one of the exceptions for the federal minimum wage law to apply to you.

Federal Minimum Wage Poster

Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA's minimum wage provisions must post, and keep posted, a notice explaining the Act in a highly visible place in all of their establishments so employees may read it. A revised federal minimum wage poster is available on the US Department of Labor Web site.

State Minimum Wage Laws

Even if the federal minimum wage law does not apply to you, a state minimum wage law may apply to you. Many states have minimum wage laws. If both the federal minimum wage law and a state minimum wage law apply to you, then you are entitled to the higher minimum wage.

Reporting Violations

You should report suspected violations of federal or state minimum wage laws directly to the District Office of the US Wage and Hour Division nearest you.

Questions for Your Attorney

  • What is the minimum wage for workers who receive tips?
  • What minimum wage exceptions apply to full-time students?
  • How often does the federal minimum wage increase?
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