The United States first established a minimum wage in 1938. Since then, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), has raised the rate to $7.25. On top of that, many individual states have legislated amounts that are higher than the national standard for minimum wage.
Employees that haven’t been paid the Federal minimum wage might have back wages owed to them. Learn more about minimum wage law and whether a minimum wage lawyer can help you by reading on.
Minimum Pay Exceptions
Under current employment law, businesses that make less than $500,000 may not have to pay their employees the Federal standard. There are also specific kinds of employees that aren’t guaranteed these provisions for minimum pay. Some examples:
- Employees that deliver newspapers
- Workers on small farms
- Companions to the elderly
- Other exceptions and exemptions are detailed in the Fair Labor Standards Act on the Department of Labor‘s website.
Tipped Employees and Minimum Pay
Persons who regularly make over 30 dollars a month in tips can count them as wages. Therefore, the Federal minimum pay for these individuals is $2.13 an hour. This is assuming that the lower direct wage plus the tips will be equivalent to the Federal minimum or higher. If that is not the case, the employer must make up the difference (i.e., pay a higher direct wage), and the employee is owed money. The burden of proof in these cases rests on the employer.
Legal Minimum Wage
The Fair Labor Standards Act has provisions for certain types of employees, guaranteeing them the Federal minimum for hourly pay. Nearly any organization that grosses $500,000 a year or more is required to pay its employees at least $7.25 an hour. In addition, the following organizations are almost always covered by this section of employment law, regardless of income:
- Government agencies (local, state, or Federal)
- Most schools
- Businesses engaged in interstate commerce
State Minimum Pay
Some states have a higher minimum pay than the Federal standard, some have lower. No matter the case, an employee is always guaranteed the highest amount available. The complete list of states with higher minimum pay:
- New Mexico
There may be other minimum pay laws in your state that augment the Federal laws and provide you with additional benefits. Seek minimum wage law advice if you think you are owed back wages.