Most employees have the right to be paid at least the Federal minimum wage ($7.25) for all hours worked regardless of whether you are paid by the hour, the day, or at a piece rate. Some state laws provide greater employee protections; employees are entitled to the higher minimum wage.

Employers may pay tipped employees a cash wage of not less than $2.13 per hour. If your tips combined with cash wages do not equal the minimum wage, your employer must make up the difference.

Employers may pay you below the minimum wage if you are under age 20 and in the first 90 days of employment. Employers that obtain a Section 14 certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor may also pay below the minimum wage if you are a student-learner enrolled in vocational education, a full-time student in certain workplaces, or a person whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by a disability.

You have the right to be paid for all hours you work in a workweek. In general, “hours worked” includes all time an employee must be on duty, or at the place of work. Normally, time spent in training, traveling from site to site during the day, and doing repair work must be paid.

Questions? We’re here to help.

We are committed to helping you understand your rights as a worker. Many questions about wage rights may be answered by using the following elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors:

For additional assistance, please contact:

  • The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor: 1-866-4-US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243)
  • Your state Labor Office

All discussions with us, including complaints, are free and confidential. Your name and the nature of the complaint will not be disclosed to your employer. The only time we would share such information is when necessary to pursue an allegation, and we would only do so then with your permission, or if required by a court.

Learn about filing a complaint

We’ll help you decide what to do next, and determine whether filing a complaint is the best course of action.

Please note that it is illegal for your employer to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise retaliate against you for reporting an issue to the Labor Department.

File with WHD