What You Need to Know About Minimum Wage

Employment Attorneys Explain Exemptions

It is very important that workers understand the basics of minimum wage laws so that their employers do not take advantage of them. Oftentimes, employers will pay their workers less than minimum wage or require that they work more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay.

Are There Exceptions to the Federal Minimum Wage?

Since 2009, the minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour. If a worker is located in a state with a minimum wage higher than the national standard, they are to receive the higher wage. The following are the only exceptions to federal minimum wage laws:

  • Disabled Workers — If a worker’s productive capacity is significantly inhibited by a physical or mental disability, then they are eligible to receive less than minimum wage. This includes disabilities such as blindness, mental illness, cerebral palsy and substance abuse. Employees with disabilities must receive a commensurate wage based on the worker’s productivity.
  • Full-Time Students — Full time students cannot be paid less than 85 percent of the federal minimum wage. Furthermore, full-time students can only work 8 hours a day and 20 hours a week during the semester. During off-seasons, such as summer and winter break, a full-time student can work the full 40 hours.
  • Workers Under the Age of 20 — For the first 90 days of employment for an employee under the age of 20, he or she may receive $4.25 per hour. After 90 days or the employee’s 20th birthday, the employer is obliged to pay the full federal minimum wage.
  • Tipped Workers — Those who regularly receive over $30 dollars per month in tips can receive $2.13 per hour. The amount earned in tips is designated tip credit and counts towards raising the overall income to something similar to what a standard minimum wageworker would earn.
  • Student Learners — Students who are engaged in a vocational apprenticeship and are at least 16 years old cannot be paid less than 75 percent of the minimum wage for the duration of the course.

Looking for a Labor Attorney in New Jersey?

If your employer is paying you less than the minimum wage, even though you do not meet any of the requirements of the minimum wage exceptions, then you should reach out an experienced employment lawyer. Sometimes employers will underpay their workers for years. In such circumstances, a lawsuit could recover substantial compensation. For more information, reach out to an experienced labor attorney.



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