When the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) first became law, as part of the New Deal in the 1930s, the minimum wage was 25 cents an hour. These days, the federal minimum is $7.25, and many states (and local governments) have a higher minimum wage. Employees are entitled to the highest minimum wage that applies where they work, whether federal, state, or local.
Special wage rules apply to employees who receive tips and employees whose employers take paycheck deductions for work-related items; we cover these rules below. You'll also find information on when employees are entitled to be paid for travel time and time spent on call, two situations that lead to a lot of confusion and legal disputes.