Federal Minimum Wage 2012
The federal minimum wage 2012 stands at $7.25 per hour, an amount that was last updated in 2009. There have been calls however to the effect that the minimum wage should be raised to $9.50 per hour. This is a possible indication that the rate may go higher in 2012 to keep up with inflation and the high cost of living.
Where does the rate apply?
The federal minimum wage 2012 applies to all state in the United States of America. This rate overrides any minimum wage set by respective states in the US. As such, if a state has a set a lower minimum wage compared to the federal minimum wage, then the states minimum wage becomes null and void.
All states therefore have a responsibility of ensuring that they observe the federal minimum wage. It is incumbent upon each state therefore to enforce the federal minimum wage.
Exemptions from federal minimum wage 2012
An employer may be exempted from paying the minimum wage in a number of scenarios. The first way through which this may be allowed involves a case where employees receive tips from patrons. This is usually the case with employees such as waiters who are usually tipped. The employer may therefore pay them lower than the minimum wage. This is however permissible only if the tips can make up for the deficit amount.
Employees who work on seasonal establishments may also be paid below the federal minimum wage 2012. It is common to find employees working in say summer camps being paid below the minimum wage.
For employees who are below 18 years of age, they may also not get the minimum wage. They will instead receive a sub-minimum wage for up to 90 days, a period which they may be undergoing training.
There are other institutions like universities and non-profits which may pay their employees below the minimum wage 2012. In order for them to do this, they will have to obtain a certificate to exempt them from paying their employees the federal minimum wage.
All employers are expected to comply with the federal minimum wage 2012. It is also expected of the employers to display an approved federal labor law poster somewhere where it can be easily and clearly seen. This is to show that they indeed comply with the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) and the federal minimum wage.
The posters are also used to show that the employer complies with the FLSA employee rights. As such, anyone working in such an establishment will clearly know what their rights are under the FLSA.
Although the federal government has set the federal minimum wage 2012 at $7.25 per hour, many employers and states have a higher minimum rate. It is therefore commonplace to find the minimum wage in many states set much higher than the federal minimum wage.
Since each state may also set its own minimum wage, it is important that employers check whether they are being paid below the minimum wage. They should not just rely on the federal minimum wage 2012.