Wages and Hours Worked:
The federal minimum wage for covered, nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. The federal minimum wage provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is administered and enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division. Many states also have minimum wage laws. In cases where an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two minimum wages.
The FLSA contains some exceptions (or exemptions) from the minimum wage requirement. Some exceptions apply to specific types of businesses and others apply to specific types of work. It also provides for the employment of certain individuals at wage rates below the minimum wage. See subminimum wages.
Wages required by FLSA are due on the regular payday for the pay period covered. Deductions made from wages for such items as cash or merchandise shortages, employer-required uniforms, and tools of the trade, are not legal to the extent that they reduce the wages of employees below the minimum rate required by FLSA or reduce the amount of overtime pay due under FLSA.
The FLSA does not provide for wage payment or collection procedures for an employee's wages or commissions in excess of those required by the FLSA. However, some states do have laws under which such claims may be filed.
Federal employees are subject to additional rules enforced by the Office of Personnel Management.
It should also be noted that there are a number of employment practices that the FLSA does not regulate. For example, FLSA does not require:
- vacation, holiday, severance, or sick pay;
- meal or rest periods, holidays off, or vacations;
- premium pay for weekend or holiday work;
- pay raises or fringe benefits; and
- a discharge notice, reason for discharge, or immediate payment of final wages to terminated employees.
- Employment Law Guide - Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay - Describes the statutes and regulations administered by DOL that regulate minimum wage and overtime pay.
- Questions and Answers About the Minimum Wage - Answers questions ranging from "how often does the minimum wage increase" to "who ensures that workers are paid at least the minimum wage?"
- Minimum Wage Laws in the States - Provides a clickable map that tells you what the minimum wage laws are in each state.
- Chapter 30 - Wage and Hour Division's Field Operations Handbook (PDF) - Discusses records, minimum wages, and the payment of wages.
- Filing a complaint - DOL's Wage and Hour Division manages complaints regarding violations of the various laws and regulations it administers. To file a complaint concerning one of these laws, contact your nearest Wage and Hour Division office or call the Department's Toll-Free Wage and Hour HelpLine at 1-866-4-US-WAGE.
- Coverage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - Provides general information about those covered by the FLSA.
- Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - Provides general information concerning what constitutes compensable time under the FLSA.
- Youth Minimum Wage - FLSA - Answers a variety of questions about the minimum wage, including the subminimum wage.
- Minimum Wage, Recordkeeping, and Child Labor Requirements of U.S. Law - Provides general information concerning federal minimum wage, recordkeeping and child labor requirements that apply to foreign commercial vehicle operators and their helpers who work in United States territory.
- Comprehensive FLSA Presentation (Microsoft® PowerPoint®)
- elaws Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Advisor - Addresses key wage and hour topics, including minimum wage requirements.
- Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Minimum Wage Poster - Describes the requirement that every employer of employees subject to the FLSA's minimum wage provisions must post a notice explaining the Act. (Español) (Chinese)
Every covered employer must keep certain records for each non-exempt worker. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires no particular form for the records, but does require that the records include certain identifying information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. For a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain, see the FLSA recordkeeping fact sheet.
Prior to paying an employed person the subminimum wage, as allowed under certain provisions of the FLSA, employers may have to apply for a certificate from the U. S. Department of Labor. See the form instructions page for additional information.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - Establishes minimum wages, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor standards for private sector and government workers.
- 29 CFR Part 531 - Regulations on wage payments under the FLSA.
- State Labor Offices - When the state laws differ from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer must comply with the standard most protective to employees.
- State Labor Laws
- Wage and Hour Division
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
- For questions on other DOL laws,
please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.