If you pay employees below the minimum wage and they are not a specifically exempted group, you are liable to face fines and you may need to reimburse those employees for lost wages. The problem is that you could violate minimum wage laws without realizing it!
Minimum Wage by State
The minimum wage in New Hampshire is $7.25 (or $15,080 per year), which is the same as the federal minimum wage for nonexempt employees. New Hampshire doesn’t have a minimum wage law of its own, so it follows the federal mandate. New Hampshire also requires a weekly pay check unless you apply for and receive permission to pay other than weekly from NH’s Dept of Labor.
In Florida, the minimum wage is $8.05 per hour as of January 1, 2016. Employees who receive tips must receive a minimum wage of $5.03 per hour. Florida’s minimum wage is tied to a cost of living formula. In fact, Florida is the only southern state with a minimum wage above the federal level. Florida has no requirement as to how often an employee is paid: weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or monthly.
When the state minimum wage is lower than the federal minimum wage, the federal minimum wage must be paid. When the state minimum wage is higher, the state minimum must be paid. Exceptions to the minimum wage might include employees who receive tips, seasonal employees (such as camp counselors), workers under the age of 18 who are in training and workers at some institutions or nonprofits.
Unexpected Ways to Violate Minimum Wage
The wage your employees receive can fall below minimum wage if you charge them for breakage or shortages. If you require employees to return some of their tips to the business, you may also be paying them below minimum wage (workers who receive part of their income as tips are still expected to reach minimum wage). Employees who work solely for tips or commissions may also find themselves with paychecks below the minimum wage.
As an employer, you are responsible for making up the difference if an employee’s wages fall below the minimum wage for any given work week.
To prevent violations of the minimum wage requirement, you should avoid charging employees for breakage or shortages; forcing them to return tips to the business; or asking them to work for tips or commissions alone.
Please contact HR Compliance 101 if you have any concerns about obeying the minimum wage laws.