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Minimum Wage Laws

As of July 24th, 2009, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that the federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for enforcing the minimum wage laws and regulations.

The federal minimum wage does not increase automatically over a designated interval of time. Congress must first pass a bill in order for changes to occur. Minimum Wage Rates will increase as a result of Consumer Price Index (CPI), Federal wage increase, and/or cost-of-living accommodation.

Many states also have their own minimum wage laws. Employees are entitled to the higher of two minimum wage rates in states where there are both federal and state minimum wage laws. The following states annually re-assess their minimum wage rates – therefore updating their labor law posters accordingly to reflect any changes made. These states are: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

The FLSA applies to the following groupings of employees:

  • Employees who work for organizations with gross annual volume of at least $500,000.
  • Employees of smaller firms where they are engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.
  • Employees such as guards, janitors, and maintenance personnel whose duties are closely related to interstate activities mentioned above.
  • Employees of federal, state or local government agencies.
  • Employees of hospitals and schools.
  • Domestic workers.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not necessitate the following compensation:

  • Severance Pay
  • Sick Leave
  • Vacations or holidays
  • Educational assistance
  • Life insurance / travel accident insurance
  • Meal or rest periods
  • Pay raises or fringe benefits
  • Payment of final wages to terminated employees

The protocols on the above stated compensations are usually set in place by the employer. Additionally, certain exemptions apply to specific types of businesses or specific types of work. For specifics on these exemptions, please see reference links below.

The minimum wage regulations vary for different classifications of workers:

  • Workers with disabilities
  • Full-time
  • Employees under 20 years
  • Tipped Employees
  • Student-Learners

Useful Links:

Minimum Wage Laws in the States - January 1, 2011
Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay – Law Guide
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor
Employee types exempt from minimum wage laws
Wage and Hour Division (WHD) - Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act

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