Although Mississippi has no minimum wage, most employees in the state are entitled to $7.25 per hour under federal law. The federal minimum wage was increased on July 24, 2009 from $6.55 per hour to $7.25 per hour.
It is vital for Mississippi employers to update their minimum wage posters immediately.
The FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is the relevant federal minimum wage law and covers employers with annual revenue of at least $500,000, and those companies engaged in interstate commerce. This law also covers individual employees engaged in interstate commerce.
Below are some examples of what constitutes interstate commerce:
Using the Internet, a website or email
Accepting out-of-state phone calls
Accepting out-of-state checks
Accepting credit card or debit card payments
Buying from out-of-state vendors
Receiving goods from out-of-state vendors
With more Mississippi companies utilizing Internet technology, there are few who don’t engage in interstate commerce, including employers in Mississippi.
Therefore, the majority of the businesses in Mississippi were affected by the July 24, 2009 increase in the federal minimum wage.
In some states, it is possible for an employee to be entitled to both the state minimum wage and the federal minimum wage. The law states that whenever a worker falls into this category, he or she is entitled to whichever minimum wage provides the greater benefit. That does not apply in Mississippi, of course, since there is no Mississippi minimum wage.
In the 2007, the Fair Minimum Wage Act enacted a series of increases for the federal minimum wage to be accomplished over a three year period. Each increase would be 70 cents and would occur on July 24. The first increase took place in 2007, the second in 2008, and the third and last increase in 2009.
That last increase went into effect on July 24, 2009 and increased the federal minimum from $6.55 per hour to $7.25 per hour. This increase affected most of the employers in Virginia, including those covered by the state minimum wage.
Many Virginia employers are covered by the federal minimum wage.
The federal minimum wage is governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act of (more…)
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is attempting to locate a number of workers who participated in post-Katrina renovations or repairs in Louisiana and Mississippi. The workers are entitled to back pay from sub-contractors on the projects. The projects involve work done at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport or the Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, Louisiana. Anyone who believes that they are owed back wages for these projects can contact the nearest U.S. Department of Labor office.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently recovered nearly $1.6 million in back wages for workers in Mississippi and Louisiana due to violations of the Davis-Bacon Act and other federal regulations. The funds will go directly to some 2,600 employees who were involved in the renovation and repair of U.S. naval bases at Gulfport, Mississippi and Belle Chasse, Louisiana in the wake of hurricane Katrina. The awards average about $616 per worker.
“This administration is committed to ensuring that workers are paid all the wages they have earned,” said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “We have recovered nearly $1.5 million for the workers who’ve been involved in the cleanup and restoration of these naval facilities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina damage.”
The workers were employed by 107 different subcontractors all hired by KBR Inc., a company based in Virginia. In every case, the work was performed under a federal contract. Under the terms of most federal contracts, all wages paid must conform to a number of federal standards including the Service Contract Act (SCA), the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) and the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA).
Both the SCA and the Davis-Bacon Act require that subcontractors pay the local prevailing wage rate and benefits on federal service and construction contracts. In addition, the CWHSSA sets standards for overtime pay for workers involved in federal contracts. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the 107 sub-contractors in violation of all these laws.
After an investigation, the Wage and Hour Division found that 107 different subcontractors involved in the projects had failed to pay required wages and fringe benefits. In some cases, the contractors also neglected to pay overtime when employees worked more than 40 hours per week. The agency determined that 2,623 workers at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport and the Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse were due approximately $1,475,000 in back wages.
KBR Inc. and many of its subcontractors cooperated with the Labor Department’s investigation to ensure that all employees who were due back wages were compensated. Of the total back wages, the subcontractors paid approximately $670,000 directly to the affected employees. The prime contractor, KBR, paid the balance of $800,000 to the U.S. Department of Labor for disbursement to the remaining workers.
Under a special taskforce created in 2006, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has investigated and prosecuted a number of violations of federal minimum wage laws in the Gulf Coast. These violations occurred as contractors moved into the area to perform work after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The wide-ranging investigations have recovered wages for workers from Florida to Maine.
In one prominent case, a Houston-based tree trimming service was found to have violated federal law by not paying more than $1.8 million in overtime to 2,500 workers. The firm, which specializes in disaster clean-up near power lines, was found to have violated the law in 16 states, including Florida, Texas, Ohio, Arkansas, Maryland, Virginia, Maine, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.
That probe began after a tip from an employee led to the discovery that the firm was violating the minimum wage law in the 16 states. It was also violating the FLSA, or federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The settlement covered the period from August 2004 to August 2006.
A new settlement between Wal-Mart and the U.S. Labor Department is costing the retailer $33 million in back pay and interest.
The settlement involves a violation of U.S. and Mississippi minimum wage laws. Salaried interns, manager trainees and programmer trainees were improperly paid, working long hours without overtime. Even many salaried employees, contrary to popular assumption, are entitled to overtime pay, provided they fall under certain guidelines regarding their duty and their pay level.
You may think that if you’re paid by salary rather than wage, you’re not covered by federal and Mississippi minimum wage laws. That’s not true. Under the law, many salaried people must be paid overtime. There are exceptions, depending on job duties. Only salaried managers in key decision-making roles in a store, division or department may work beyond 40 hours per week without overtime. The authority is usually defined as having the right to hire and fire more than three employees. And then it only applies if their salaries are over a certain ceiling.
Recent guidelines demand that anyone making less than $23,600 a year (or $455 a week) must be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week.
To be an exempt employee, and as a result subject to work weeks longer than 40 hours but without overtime pay, you must fall under certain guidelines. One is that you must make more than $455 a week, or $23,600 annually. Second, you must be in a decision-making or supervisory role in your division, department or store. More specifically, that applies in most cases to somebody who has the authority to hire and fire more than three people.
The case settled does not mean the end of troubles for Wal-Mart. The settlement addresses only those violations specifically mentioned in the consent judgment and won’t affect any future action – whether lawsuits or any Wal-Mart workers’ right to file Labor Department complaints.
“Crime doesn’t pay,” and if you are an employer who thinks otherwise, then read on with this cautionary and true tale.
“Crime” cost ABC Professional Tree services $1.8 million in overtime pay, when they were ordered to pay this amount to employees numbering 2,501 after a two-year investigation into their overtime payment practices.
The US Dept. of Labor found that ABC was guilty of breaking the federal and Mississippi minimum wage laws, and also were in violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. In fact, they were found to be in violation of the minimum wage laws in 16 states. These are Maryland, Virginia, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Mississippi.
ABC Professional Tree Services are currently paying a grand total of $1,801,507 in back overtime payments to workers in these states. A portion of the back payments will be paid to workers who took part in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The company specializes in clean up operations in hurricane affected areas, as well as areas affected by natural disasters.
In case you are an employer thinking of flouting the minimum wage laws, this is what the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires.
Employees covered by FLSA are entitled to a minimum wage of $5.15 per hour for a 40 hour a week. If he or she is required to work more than 40 hours, they are entitled to time-and-one-half for each extra hour.
It is the responsibility of the employer to keep accurate time and payroll records for each employee.
In case you were still thinking about the chances of being caught, bear in mind that a task force consisting of the U.S. Dept of Labor, with cooperation of Attorneys in various US states, was set up in 2006, to prosecute violations of federal labor laws.