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A few common wage & hour questions, answered

Wage and hour laws can be a bit complicated, and learning about them isn't exactly a high priority for many people, even though it is an incredibly important topic. That's understandable, so today we're going to discuss some basic wage and hour topics that apply to many people.

First, can an employer pay someone below the minimum wage? For the most part, the answer is "no." However, if you make tips at your job; and it is established by your employer that the arrangement is for the tips to make up a part of your income; and that employer pays you at least $2.13 per hour and you make at least $30 in tips per month; then yes, your employer can pay you less than minimum wage. There are also certain jobs and exemptions that can apply to a job that allow a company to skirt the minimum wage law.

What is the FLSA? The FLSA is the Fair Labor Standards Act, and it sets the standard for minimum wage and overtime pay. It does not require anyone to offer you vacation time, sick leave or raises, but it does require them to pay you at least $7.25 per hour (except for the exemptions and circumstances mentioned above).

Can my employer offer me vacation or "comp" time to make up for overtime? An employer is forbidden from giving "comp" time to compensate an employee who has worked overtime. However, your work week could be structured in a way so that you work four 10-hour days if your employer chooses to do so.

Source: FindLaw, "FAQs: Wage and Hour Laws," Accessed May 24, 2016

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