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Minimum wage: Brush up on your legal obligations

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources,Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

THE LAW. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires virtually all employers to pay at least a minimum wage, now $5.15 an hour, to all nonexempt employees. Many states also set their own, often higher, minimum wages, and some of these rates vary by type of worker.

When federal and state laws differ, the higher minimum wage typically applies.

In some cases, federal law lets you pay a below-minimum wage to certain categories of workers, including the disabled, full-time students, tipped employees, youths under age 20 (for their first 90 days on the job), apprentices and messengers. But if you want to pay someone a subminimum wage, be ready to jump through hoops to get permission from the federal government.

WHAT'S NEW? Look for Con-gress this fall to debate raising the federal minimum from $5.15 to $6.65 an hour. Passage is more likely in the Senate than the House. The proposed hike would be phased in: 60...(register to read more)

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