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Know your rights to minimum wage in your state

For any hard-working individual, getting a fair wage is often an important factor of their employment. Why work long hours and give your all to a job if you are not treated fairly as a result? Although many states have laws surrounding minimum wage rates, this is not the case everywhere. Even where these laws apply, many workers do not receive the money they are due for their work.

In a previous post we saw how the wages and benefits of over 4,000 contractors were affected by their misclassification as contractors. If you feel that you are being unfairly compensated for the work you do, it is important to stand up for your rights. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 and this applies to all workers whom the federal wage laws cover. In 23 states, the minimum wage rate is the same as the federal rate.

The specifics for each state are explained in greater detail here. However, in 18 states, as well as D.C., the minimum wage rate is higher than the federal one, with the rate in California being $8.00. In contrast, in 9 states the rate is either lower or there is no minimum wage requirement at all.

Overtime laws also vary from state to state. For example, in California an employee is entitled to time-and-a-half pay for any hours worked in excess of eight in one day or 40 in one week. This rate also applies to the first eight hours worked on the seventh working day within a week. Any hours beyond eight on this seventh day count as double pay, as do hours worked in excess of 12 on any other day.

It is important to know your rights in your home state and to challenge your employer if you feel you are being unfairly treated. An attorney may be able to offer the support you require and assist you in building your case.

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