Like many other states across America, such as Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Idaho and Indiana, Utah increases the state minimum wage when the federal minimum wage increases. Therefore, on July 24, 2009, when the federal minimum increased by 70 cents from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour, the Utah minimum wage increased to match the federal rate.
Unlike these other states whose laws simply mandate that they adopt the federal minimum as their own, Utah’s only requires the state Labor Commission to review the rate when the federal minimum changes.
In 2007, the federal Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 set out to increase the federal minimum wage with three annual increases. Each increase was to be 70 cents beginning in 2007 and ending in 2009. The federal minimum began at $5.15 per hour, increasing to $5.85 in 2007, then to $6.55 in 2008 and finally to $7.25 per hour in 2009.
When the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 was signed into law, (more…)
On July 24, 2008, the federal minimum wage increased by 70 cents from $5.85 per hour to $6.55 per hour. Like the minimum wage in several other states, the Utah minimum wage also increased to $6.55 per hour.
The Utah minimum wage will increase by 70 cents from $5.85 per hour to $6.55 per hour on July 24, 2008. On that same day, the minimum wage in a dozen other states will increase, with the federal minimum wage.
Like Texas before it, Utah also has one big question mark hanging over the heads of its employers. What will happen to the Utah state minimum wage if and when the federal minimum wage goes up as predicted (though the probability is again in question today, loyal readers, as latest word out of Washington DC is that President Bush said he would veto that proposed supplemental spending bill with the attached federal minimum wage bill, if it’s passed to him as is. But more on that later.)
Of course, the larger employers in the state of Utah do not have to think too hard to know what will happen to them. The Utah Minimum Wage Act specifically says that any employers that is liable to follow the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal hour and wage regulations, then those employers should follow them and no the Utah minimum wage law.
Again, some of the employers liable to follow the Fair Labor Standards Act are, and repeat after me: those employers who bring in more than $500,000 per year in revenues; or those employers who have employees that do work, sell product, travel, and otherwise operate in more than one state besides Utah (with the notion being that only those employees with interstate jobs need to get paid the federal minimum wage, not local Utah employees); as well as hospital and nursing home type facilities, government agencies and institutions, whether local, state, or federal, and schools and other educational type facilities.
But what about all of the employers in Utah who are left out by that list? What will become of them if the federal minimum wage goes up? Will the Utah minimum wage go up to follow suit? The answer is, as with Texas, it does not seem to be an automatic thing, so the Utah legislature would have to pass a new law to tie the Utah minimum wage with the federal minimum wage.
Utah is another one of those states that has not had too much activity on the minimum wage front in recent time. In fact, the last time the Utah minimum wage changed was back on Feb. 14, 1990, when the Utah minimum wage became $5.15 per hour for adult employees. The Utah minimum wage for minors under the age of 18, on the other hand, is still $5.15 per hour, but can be as low as $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days that you employ them.
The state of Utah also afford employers of tipped employee to have a so called tip credit. We had been talking about the tip credit and the tipped employee minimum wage a bit more a few weeks back, when we had gotten into the debate in Missouri, for instance, of what tipped employees should make as a minimum wage. In the case of Missouri, however, the tipped wage debate was because the regular Missouri minimum wage had changed. Not so in Utah. The Utah minimum wage remains the same, as does the Utah tipped employee minimum wage, which still is what the Missouri tipped employee minimum wage used to be—$2.13 per hour. Of course, employers cannot pay that tipped employee minimum wage unless the employee is making up the difference (and making at least the regular Utah minimum wage) when their tips are added into the picture.
You can find this and more in the official Utah Minimum Wage Act, which is otherwise Title 34, Chapter 40 of the Utah hour and wage laws. The Utah Minimum Wage Act also delves into all of the state’s exemptions to the minimum wage law and the overtime pay law, and it also explains to employers how they must keep their pay roll records in order to comply with the law.