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Three Essential Wage and Hour Policies Employers Need to Know

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Employment Law |

Having a clear understanding of wage policies is crucial in developing a workplace built on fairness and trust. These policies aim to ensure an employer’s compliance with legal standards and help build a fair and equitable work environment where workers are protected from unlawful employment practices.

Here are the key wage policies employers should be aware of to foster a positive workplace culture.

Minimum wage requirements

In the United States, the exact rate for minimum wage varies from state to state – and sometimes even city to city – to reflect the cost of living and other economic factors.

The state of Minnesota updates its minimum wage rate annually. As of 2024, large employers must pay their workers at least $10.85 per hour, while small businesses must pay a minimum of $8.85 per hour.

Employers must keep themselves updated with these regulations to avoid legal penalties and ensure fair compensation for their workers.

Overtime compensation

For employers, overtime pay is one of the most crucial aspects of wage and hour policies. Minnesota’s Fair Labor Standards Act requires Minnesota employers to pay overtime for all hours worked over 48 per workweek, unless the employee is exempt. This overtime must be paid at one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. This requirement aims to ensure fair compensation for longer working hours and prevent any exploitation of employees.  

Certain employees may be exempt from state and federal overtime pay requirements based on their job duties and salary level. Common exemptions include executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees, as well as certain computer-related occupations. These exemptions can be extremely tricky to navigate. The Employment Law team at Quinlivan is here to help you better understand overtime requirements and these exemptions.  

Access to equal pay

Minnesota employers are mandated to pay employees equally for work of equal value, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion and other factors unrelated to their performance. 

The Minnesota Human Rights Act protects employees from workplace discrimination. This ensures that all workers in the state have equal access to opportunities and are free from harassment. 

Thus, employers in the state must proactively establish transparent pay practices to prevent discrimination and foster a culture of fairness in the workplace. 

Understanding and implementing best practices championing fair pay policies is about more than just legal compliance. It is about setting the stage for a work environment that has fairness and respect at its core. 

Staying informed and seeking advice, when necessary, can help employers navigate these policies While navigating the complex landscape of employment law, ensuring compliance and protecting your business interests requires experienced guidance. Contact Quinlivan & Hughes today for trusted legal advice tailored to your specific needs and industry challenges.