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What’s up in Washington: Minimum wage, child labor penalties

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in Compensation and Benefits,Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,HR Management,Human Resources

Two key federal laws have changed, affecting how employers handle wage-and-hour issues. A new federal minimum wage went into effect in July, and civil penalties for child-labor law violations increased in May. Here is a summary of each development.

Federal minimum wage

Congress increased the federal minimum wage last year when it passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The law amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over three years. Under that act, the minimum wage increases in three steps. It went up to $5.85 per hour in July. The second step increased the minimum wage to $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008. A final jump to $7.25 per hour will go into effect July 24, 2009.

Although many states have minimum wage levels higher than the federal rate, Texas uses the federal rate as its minimum wage.

The tip credit an employer can claim also increase...(register to read more)

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