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Federal Minimum Wage to Increase – Are You Prepared?

In July 2009, the federal minimum wage will increase. Are you prepared? The current federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour will increase to $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.

This increase is the third step in Congress’s 3-step federal minimum wage increase bill, which was passed in 2007. The first step took place in July 2007, the next in July 2008, and the final step this year. Congress hopes that by increasing minimum wage, they can increase nationwide spending and allow minimum wage workers a better quality of life. By increasing pay, you increase the amount a minimum wage family can spend on goods and services, which in turn creates more jobs for other Americans.

Many states also have minimum wage laws. If an employee is subject to both, s/he is entitled to the higher minimum wage. Some states also provide more employee wage and hour rights than the federal law. Employers must comply with the stricter, more employee friendly standard.

You should also be aware that there are various federal minimum wage exceptions for employees with disabilities, youth under age 20, full-time students, tipped employees and student learners. If this may apply to you, seek counsel for details regarding these exceptions.

Be sure that your company is in compliance with all state and federal minimum wage laws. Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with state and federal employment laws including wage and hour laws. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.