Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers in the United States are required to be paid a minimum amount for the hours they work, and the payment must be delivered in a timely fashion. However, the laws allow for numerous exemptions due to the nature of work, the industry, and several other factors.
Minimum Wage in Texas
Currently, the minimum wage in Texas is the same as the federal minimum wage: $7.25 per hour. This rate must be paid to all employees for any hours worked adding up to less than 40 per week. However, there are exemptions to this—employees in religious or non-profit business, for example, may legally be paid less than minimum wage.
Employees who are on a sales commission schedule for payment may also be paid less than minimum wage, or may not even be paid an hourly wage at all, instead being replaced by a residual income from their sales work.
Applying Tips, Meals, & Lodgings Towards Wages
If your business has employees for whom you also provide lodgings, meals, or other living expense benefits, you are legally allowed to deduct the cost of those benefits from an employee’s wages. However, you may only do this so long as the total financial value of an employee’s hourly wage does not fall below the mandated $7.25 per hour.
One of the most common examples of this is tips for restaurant servers. If you run a restaurant and your servers, bartenders, and bussers make tips, you can legally reduce their hourly wages, so long as their wages plus their tips added together meets the required minimum wage. If you have a server who works 6 hours and makes $30 in tips, that employee has earned $5 per hour in tips. Therefore the employee’s hourly wages may be reduced to $2.25 per hour for that work day in order to satisfy minimum wage laws.
Overtime in Texas
Like the minimum wage laws, Texas also follows the federal overtime laws, meaning employees must be paid 1.5 times their normal hourly pay for every hour over 40 worked in a week. However, contrary to popular belief this does not apply exclusively to hourly-paid employees. Those who work on a salary basis must still be paid overtime for their work over 40 hours per week unless they are exempted by a variety of laws.
The Toppins Law Firm, P.C. has assisted business of many types with numerous types of employment law. Our Houston employment lawyers have considerable experience in their fields, including many years of experience in the legal departments of large companies. We can provide your business with knowledgeable and thorough business law counsel to ensure your company is not only in compliance with current laws but is prepared for any dispute that might occur.
Call The Toppins Law Firm, P.C. at (713) 574-2299 to request a consultation for your business law needs today.