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Minimum Wage: Federal

Minimum Wage requirements by state

Author: Meryl Gutterman, Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C.


  • The Fair Labor Standards Act requires an employer to pay all nonexempt employees at least the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25 an hour) for all hours worked. See Minimum Wage Basics.
  • An employer may make certain deductions that reduce an employee's pay but keep it above the minimum wage, as long as they are agreed to by the employee. See Deductions Above the Minimum Wage.
  • An employer may reduce an employee's pay below the minimum wage under certain circumstances, such as when the employee receives tips or to cover taxes or court-ordered wage garnishments. See Deductions Below the Minimum Wage.
  • Certain employees, such as students, workers with disabilities, apprentices, learners and messengers, may be paid less than the minimum wage. See Subminimum Wages.
  • Young workers also may be paid less than the minimum wage for the first 90 days of their employment. See Youth Opportunity Wage.