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When is it Legal to get Receive Less than the Minimum Wage?

Currently, the minimum wage rate in Kansas City is $7.25 per hour. This is the same as the federal minimum wage rate and is considered the minimum amount that a non-exempt employee can be paid for the work they do.

The last time the federal minimum wage was updated was in 2009, and this overrides any state law that provides for a minimum wage rate that is lower than this amount. As a result, it is guaranteed that workers will receive a minimum of $7.25 per hour, regardless of what state they live in.

Why do Some People Receive an Amount that is Less than Minimum Wage?

There are some jobs, including ones where workers receive tips, workers who are in college, high school or students, and certain types of seasonal workers and laborers who are performing informal jobs such as babysitting that are exempt from minimum wage.

  • Restaurant employees and other employees who receive tips are usually paid the federal tipped minimum wage, which is $2.13 per hour. These workers are able to be paid a wage that is under the set federal minimum wage as long as the tips they receive add up to more than what the minimum wage is each hour.
  • Workers who are under the age of 20 can receive a minimum wage amount of $4.25 for the initial 90 days of being employed, which is considered a training period. Once the 90 days has passed, or after the worker reaches the age of 20, they have to receive the entire minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
  • Any full-time vocational student that is 16 years of age or older can receive a sub-minimum wage that is equivalent to 75 percent of the state or federal minimum wage if the employer has a Department of Labor certificate that indicates the workers is in the Student Learner Program.
  • According to the Full-Time Student program any full-time student that is working a service job or in retail can be paid 85 percent of the minimum wage while they are still full-time students.

What to do if You Aren’t Receiving Minimum Wage

If you have an employer who isn’t paying you the minimum wage amount and you don’t qualify for the exemptions above, then you can file a complaint, anonymously with the Federal Department of Labor. It is also a good idea to contact an experienced and skilled wage and hour attorney to determine if you have a case worth pursuing.

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