The people we hire can be the most valuable assets our companies have. To preserve good relationships, it is imperative to make sure that you are always complying with the most recent minimum wage and overtime laws for your area. Revisiting the laws regularly can help you maintain your familiarity and stay compliant.
Meeting Minimum Wage
At the time of this writing, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. While two states, Georgia and Wyoming, have lower minimum wages, these wages apply to very few workers. Federal rules say that any employee covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must be paid at least the federal minimum wage.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages that are higher than the federal one. Some cities and counties also have their own local minimum wage. Consult with local labor experts to find out which laws apply to you and your business.
In many states, tipped employees such as bartenders and servers can be paid less than the federal minimum wage. However, it’s important to keep track of tipping amounts with these employees. When their wages plus tips fall beneath the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.
Who Gets Overtime?
The FSLA also requires that employees must be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours in a week unless they are exempt employees. Overtime wages must be at least one and a half times the regular rate of pay. There is no limit to how many hours an employee can work unless they are under 16 or in certain jobs where safety rules put time limits on work.
To be an exempt employee, the person who works for you must fulfill certain requirements. For instance, some roles that include executive, administrative, professional roles and some commission-based sales jobs are can be exempt from overtime. The exemption is based on the employee’s duties rather than their title. The employee must also be paid on a salary basis and earn at least $455 per week.
Changes in both minimum wage and overtime requirements are made periodically. Stay up to date on the requirements for your employees and your industry. This can help you make sure that you stay in good standing in the eyes of the law and preserve good relations with the people who make your business work.