Minimum Wage U S. Department of Labor

State Minimum Wage Laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act gives you the right to a minimum wage. The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division enforces these rights. Official websites use .govA .gov website minimum wages belongs to an official government organization in the United States. Insights on business strategy and culture, right to your inbox.Part of the business.com network.

Furthermore, an individual can be held personally liable for civil damages, if she effectively controls an employer and/or serve as an alter ego of it. The civil remedies can include all unpaid compensation, liquidated damages, reinstatement, and attorneys’ fees. As of December 31, 2016, the first in a series of wage increases went into effect. Rates differ based on region and industry because the increases are calibrated to provide businesses ample time to adjust. The minimum wage is sometimes contrasted with the living wage, an hourly salary that would allow someone to live comfortably if they are working full time. The minimum wage is established by law but a living wage is calculated based on factors such as average rents, costs of living, transportation, and childcare costs.

New York State’s Minimum Wage

Inflation and price increases after that point caused the real earnings of a minimum wage worker to fall as productivity increased. The first minimum wage laws came into effect in the late 1800s when sweatshop labor was common in newly industrialized countries. Minimum wages were a central demand for the new union movement, along with shorter hours and better working conditions. Time and one-half premium pay for work on Sundays and holidays in retail and certain other businesses is required under two laws that are separate from the minimum wage law.

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.
  • Download a claim form for unpaid wages, unpaid wage supplements, or mandatory overtime complaints.
  • Restaurants operating inside a grocery establishment are exempt, as are restaurants producing and selling bread as a stand-alone menu item.
  • Michael Reich, a professor of economics at UC Berkeley and the chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, pushed back against the narrative that fast food companies need to increase prices to cover wage increases.
  • Of course, if you offer these employees salaries even close to just the minimum wage, they’ll likely look elsewhere for work.

Jobs that a minimum wage is most likely to directly affect are those that pay close to the minimum. By October 1, 2026, the minimum wage will be tied to yearly inflation. Afterwards, the minimum wage will be re-adjusted by a Commonwealth Commissioner annually.

Local Minimum Wage Rates

Advocates hope something similar will happen with fast-food pay – spreading to other industries in the state and across the country. “So really what’s left is … to reduce labor hours. And I hate saying that.” Other chains plan to speed up their use of automation, including kiosks and robots.

  • Several fast-food executives have suggested prices would go up 2.5% to 3.5% to offset higher wages; Jack in the Box, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Chipotle have all warned of upcoming price hikes.
  • These rates are in effect from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024.
  • Critics argue that companies, not the government, should decide how much their employees are paid and that a minimum wage doesn’t always boost the spending power of a population and can instead lead to higher unemployment.
  • Effective July 1, 2024, there will be a uniform minimum wage of $12.00 per hour for all employees.
  • A full-time student working for a university, retail store, or service establishment cannot be paid less than 85% of the minimum wage.
  • Save valuable time when you trust Bloomberg Law research solutions to tackle complex labor and employment law tasks with ease.

According to the FLSA, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for all qualified employees. The FLSA also includes provisions for overtime law (the minimum wages you must pay employees who work overtime), overtime exemptions and minimum wage exemptions. The minimum wage, the lowest hourly amount that an employee may be paid for their labor, is determined by both state and Federal labor laws in the United States. Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, states and localities are permitted to set their own minimum wage rates, which will take precedence over the Federal minimum wage rate if they are higher. The minimum wage jumped to $20 an hour for fast-food workers effective Monday. The federal minimum wage provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

New $20 minimum wage for fast food workers in California set to start Monday

For many fast food restaurants, this means the jump to $20 per hour will be smaller. The institute issued a report last week concluding that higher wages do not have to translate to higher prices and fewer jobs. Plus, Reich said while the statewide minimum wage is $16 per hour, many of the state’s larger cities have their own minimum wage laws setting the rate higher than that.

State Minimum Wage Laws


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