State Wage Laws

Essential information and resources to help you navigate state minimum wage and hour laws

Minimum wage laws vary significantly across the U.S. Use this guide to understand state wage and hour laws, no matter where your clients are. Bloomberg Law helps you navigate complex labor and employment topics and understand how they vary from state to state.

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Get focused, accurate, and timely coverage on how to respond quickly and effectively to state wage law issues. Save valuable time when you trust Bloomberg Law research solutions to tackle complex L&E tasks with ease.


State Minimum Wage Rates

See the current minimum wage rates and credits for each state in this easy-to-use state comparison chart.


General Counsel Guide to Pay Transparency

While state laws vary, the trend toward enacting more pay equity laws is expected to continue. Download this report to understand the latest laws and developments to keep your organization compliant.


Overtime Laws by State

See current overtime laws for each state, including employee coverage and maximum hours before overtime is due, in this easy-to-use state comparison chart.

Labor and employment (L&E) attorneys advise on a variety of complex wage and labor topics, including navigating wage and labor laws at the federal, state, and local levels. Labor and employment laws present a variety of challenges due to complex regulations, exemptions, and penalties that differ from state to state.

Wage and hour laws govern the relationship between workers and their employers. In general, minimum wage laws establish a base level of pay and overtime compensation that employers are required to offer certain covered employees. The laws also govern pay practices, timing, and methods of paying the minimum wage that employers must meet, such as provisions regarding tipped employees or potential lodging for employees, for example.

Which state has the highest minimum wage? Which state has the lowest minimum wage?

Excluding those states that follow the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, a few states stand out as having higher and lower minimum wages for covered employers.

States or jurisdictions with the highest minimum wages (from highest to lowest)

  1. District of Columbia: $17
  2. Washington: $16.28
  3. California: $16
  4. New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties: $16
  5. Connecticut: $15.69

States or jurisdictions with the lowest minimum wages (from lowest to highest)

  1. Georgia: $5.15
  2. Wyoming: $5.15
  3. West Virginia: $8.75
  4. Minnesota: $8.85 (for small employers, or those with an annual gross revenue of less than $500,000)
  5. Puerto Rico: $9.50

What are the consequences for employers that do not comply with wage laws?

Fines and imprisonment are possible consequences for employers that don’t comply with federal and state wage laws. Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015, the civil penalty fine imposed for violations is adjusted regularly for inflation. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division last increased the civil penalty amount it imposes for repeat or willful minimum wage and overtime violations in 2019, from $1,964 to $2,014.

A criminal conviction for FLSA violations can bring penalties of up to $10,000 per violation for a first conviction, and six months in prison for a second. There is a six-year statute of limitations applied to actions before a federal administrative law judge.

A smarter, faster approach to state wage law with Bloomberg Law

Labor and employment law is a complex practice area that demands a keen understanding of the latest developments and updates regarding state wage and hour laws, compliance requirements, and more. Download our chart of state minimum wage rates and credits for easy comparison of state-by-state wage laws, including exemptions and planned rate increases.

Bloomberg Law can help attorneys stay ahead of L&E developments with expert analysis, comprehensive coverage, news, and practice tools. See it for yourself – request a demo.

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