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Question: What is the minimum wage that you can get?


Minimum Wage Requirements

Federal law requires that most employees receive a wage of at least $5.15 per hour. Some states have set the minimum at a higher level. There are some exceptions to the minimum wage, but if there is any doubt it is usually assumed that a worker is covered under minimum wage laws.

On November 8, 2006, Arizona voters passed a law to raise the state minimum wage. The new law went into effect on January 1, 2007. The new state minimum wage for Arizona is now $6.75. For employees who receive tips, the employer can pay up to $3.00 less than the minimum wage per hour, if the employer keeps records to show the employee’s hourly wage plus tips equaled the minimum wage. The Minimum Wage Law for Arizona can be found at A.R.S. §§ 23-362-364

"Youth Minimum Wage"

Federal law (and some state laws) allow employers to pay a lower minimum wage to employees under twenty years of age. This lower wage rate is sometimes called a "training wage" or "youth minimum wage." Federal law sets this lower minimum at $4.25 per hour, but this lower wage may be paid only for the first 90 days of employment, and an employer may not do anything that displaces one worker who is paid more in order to pay another worker the lower wage.

Employees Who Earn Tips

Under federal law, an employee who regularly receives tips as a part of his or her pay also gets a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour. But to pay this lower wage, the employee must regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips, and be allowed to keep all tips earned. The combined tips-plus-wages must add up to at least the $6.75 per hour minimum. If tips-plus-wages do not equal that minimum, the employer must make up the difference, so that the employee is paid at least minimum wage even when tips are added in.

Exemptions from Minimum Wage Requirements

Federal law (and many state laws) mandate that certain types of employees are exempt from minimum wage requirements -- such as administrative, professional, executive, and outside sales employees. In addition, federal and state laws provide for additional exemptions from the minimum wage for employees who are full-time college students, workers on some farms, workers employed in fishing enterprises, and other types of employees.

For more information about the federal laws, visit the U.S. Department of Labor online.

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