Are there any exceptions to the minimum wage law?

The minimum wage is in place to ensure that workers are reimbursed for their labor by at least a minimum standard. The goal is to prevent the exploitation of workers. 

Many people assume they are automatically covered by the minimum wage law, but the truth is that there are exceptions in place in certain industries and for certain jobs. Some of the exceptions to the federal minimum wage include workers with disabilities, employees under 20 years old during the first 3 months of their job, full-time students, student learners, tipped employees, messengers, and apprentices.

Are There State Level Exemptions to Minimum Wage Laws?

There are exceptions to the minimum wage law at the state level, as well. Exempt employees, for example, in California must perform exempt duties more than 50% of their time and earn a salary of no less than at least two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. Check your state-specific laws to find out more.

Does Minimum Wage Apply to All Workers?

Nearly every employer is entitled to pay either the federal or a state minimum wage. You can earn the federal minimum wage if you’re currently employed with a company that generates over $500,000 per year and is active in interstate commerce. However, there are certain jobs and companies that do not have to comply with federal minimum wage rules.

Can My Employer Pay Me Under the Minimum Wage for Training Purposes?

Certain states do allow for employees and training to be paid less than the minimum wage for the first 3 months or 90 days on the job. After that point has expired, however, the employee has to be paid a full minimum wage.

Do Younger Workers Have to Be Paid the Federal Minimum Wage?

Workers younger than age 20 in their first 90 calendar days of their role with an employer will receive a minimum wage of $4.25 per hour only if their work does not displace other workers. After they have reached 20 years of age or 90 consecutive days of employment, the employee has to receive the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, regardless of which of these comes first.

Are There Exceptions for Full-Time Students?

The full-time student program is specific to full-time students working in agriculture, at colleges, in universities and service stores, or in retail stores. Employers who hire students in these categories can get a certificate from the Department of Labor that allows the student to be paid no less than 85% of the minimum wage.

What If My State Law Requires Payment of a Higher Minimum Wage Than Federal Law?

It is important to understand your rights in both the federal and student sense when it comes to a minimum wage. If a higher minimum wage applies in your state beyond the federal minimum wage, you are eligible to receive that higher amount as the higher standard would apply at that point in time.

What If My Employer Does Not Pay Me Minimum Wage?

If you qualify to get minimum wage payments and you notice that your employer has been undercutting your pay, this is a violation of your rights under federal law. You need to be prepared to fight back and get the benefit of these payments.

You may be able to file a lawsuit against any employer who was required to pay you a minimum wage and failed to do so. It is best to consult directly with an experienced and qualified lawyer to help you make your case. There are many moving parts in your decision to move forward with a lawsuit, but one of the most important is who you hire as your legal counsel. Your lawyer will help you gather evidence to use in your case and will assist you in making a claim against that employer. You may be entitled to win compensation for the overdue wages if you’re successful with your case. 

Only trust your case to a qualified and knowledgeable lawyer like those working at Morgan & Morgan. Our legal team knows how to prepare cases like these so that you have the best possible chance of recovering maximum compensation. The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone even when your employer has taken advantage of you by refusing to pay your wages due. 

If your employer has underpaid you or owes you unpaid wages, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to fight back for your hard-earned compensation.