What are some wage rules in the United States?

As a worker in the United States, you’re guaranteed a certain minimum wage, except in particular circumstances. For instance, if you’re a waiter or waitress, you may receive a lower pay up front, but if you don’t earn enough in tips, you could then have your employer make up the difference between what you earned and what you would have earned with minimum wage.

Minimum wage was introduced to make sure people got the money they deserved for work. On top of wages, workers are also sometimes entitled to overtime, depending on how many hours they work. It’s important to understand these laws, so you can identify if or when your wages and rights are being violated.

Sometimes, the correct minimum wage isn’t paid. Minimum wages may change at the beginning of a new year, so make sure to check your tax documents and wage slips to make sure you’re being paid correctly. Making employees work off the clock is also something you should look out for. Every time you’re working, you need to be paid for the time you’re there. It doesn’t matter if you’re 10 minutes early; if you’re working, you need to be paid for that time.

You may also have a concern about your wages if you find your employer is deducting wages for goods you’ve received. For instance, if you eat a meal provided by your workplace, you may have the cost deducted from your paycheck. However, your boss should not be making you work for goods instead of a paycheck, since this is against the law.

Source: FindLaw, “Wages & Benefits: Overview,” accessed Dec. 23, 2015

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