Is it legal for a job to pay less than minimum wage for vacation pay?

I am assistant manager at job. I work
as a waitress and a cook. When
waitressing I make 4.45/hr. When
cooking I make 8.25/hr. I just got my
paycheck that has my vacation pay on
it. I got 35.56 hours at 6.35. I
believe that is the average between my
two pay rates. This means I didn’t even
make minimum wage for my vacation. I
obviously didn’t make tips during my
vacation. And I only took my vacation
due to the fact the business was closed
for renovations.

Asked on April 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The minimum wage is just that, the minimum wage that can be paid by an employer. This includes pay for PTO (sick days/vacation time). The reason is that while such paid time is typically not legally mandated, to the extent that a private employer chooses to provide it, any earned PTO is the equivalent of “earned wages”, so therefore must comply with minimum wage laws. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, what you describe is illegal. "Minimum" wage means it is the MINIMUM, or lowest, amount that can be paid; it is against the law (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA) to pay employees less than minimum, including for vacation (or holiday) pay.


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