The minimum wage is the lowest hourly rate an employer can pay an employee for their labor, and the amount is set by Federal and state labor laws. The Federal Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) permits states and localities to set minimum wage salaries, and these take precedence over the Federal regulations, but only if they are higher.
For states which do not set their minimum wage rate or have an outdated wage rate lower than the one set by Federal labor laws, then the Federal minimum wage is the one that must be paid.
Federal Minimum Salaries – A Little History
President Roosevelt signed the FLSA on a Saturday in June, which set the federal minimum wage to 0.25c an hour, equivalent to almost $5.00 in today’s money. The Act also addressed child labor practices and defined how many hours make up a standard workweek.
Every business that offers employment in the U.S. falls under the regulations set out by the FLSA, which also demands accurate record-keeping, overtime payments, and a minimum wage. Today, the Federally set minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, which is unchanged since 2009.
The regulations also set a normal workweek at 40 hours and any hours worked above that are paid as overtime. The wages for overtime are one and one-half times the employee’s standard rate. For the current minimum wage, overtime equates to 10.88 per hour. However, there are exceptions in salaries for those in police, firefighting, or hospital employment.
Minimum Wage Increases for 2020
While the Federally set minimum is unchanged since 2009, some states are introducing higher minimum salaries in 2020, with some more generous than others. For example, Florida moved from $8.46 from $8.56, which equates to an extra $4.00 for a standard workweek without overtime. Illinois provided a more generous pay rise for its workers by increasing the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 per hour.
So, if you are asking, “is the minimum wage the same in every state?” then the answer is no. Many states have set the minimum wage to more than what is required by Federal law, and the amount can vary significantly between jurisdictions.