Minimum Wage

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Once you become part of the workforce, there will be a lot of responsibilities that you will have to fulfill. Tasks to do, sales to make, customers to attend to, and deadlines to meet, the list goes on. Keep in mind though that while you do your work, your employer also has responsibilities to do on their end. One of those is to follow the minimum wage. 

What is the definition of minimum wage? 

Minimum wage refers to the lowest or most basic wage that employers must pay their hourly employees as per the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA. The present federal minimum wage for U.S. non-exempt workers is $7.25 per hour. 

There are U.S. states that have set a minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage. What will happen if you work in a state that has its own minimum wage standard? If this is the case, your employer is required to pay the minimum wage amount (federal or state) that is higher or more favorable to the worker. 



The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor takes charge of enforcing the federal minimum wage law. The federal minimum wage does not increase regularly or a set schedule. To increase the federal minimum wage, the U.S. Congress passed a bill to increase the federal minimum wage which the President must sign into law. 

Does the minimum wage apply to all workers? 

No, the following are workers who are exempt from the federal minimum wage: 

If you employ workers in the list above, please check your federal and state minimum wage laws. 

Are young workers required to be paid the minimum wage? 

Young workers, defined as workers who are under 20 years old, should be paid a minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first straight 90 days of being employed with an employer. Once the worker turns 20 years old or after 90 days of employment (whichever comes first), the employer must pay them $7.25 per hour as per federal minimum wage. If they work in a state with a state minimum wage that is higher, the employer must give that which is higher. 

What about workers who receive tips, what is the minimum wage? 

For workers who receive tips, they are paid a minimum of $2.13 per hour in wages. This is only if:

In case the worker’s tips added with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 per hour do not equal federal minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference. Please note that there are states with minimum wage laws that apply to tipped employees in particular. If both federal and state minimum wage laws are applicable, the worker is entitled to the law that provides more benefits. 

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