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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.