Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Both federal law and many states’ laws regulate the payment of wages. Some states don’t. Federal law will apply there. In those states where both apply, you have the task of figuring out whether to follow federal or state law, or both!

Federal wage and hour law is set forth in the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA). State laws vary state to state. For example, in California, state wage and hour law is governed by the California Labor Code and industry specific “Wage Orders.”

Federal and/or state laws pertaining to payment of wages can include payment of minimum wage, payment on an hourly or salary basis and overtime, calculation of the “regular rate” of pay for overtime purposes, proper designation of the “workday” and “workweek” for overtime purposes, rest and meal periods, and penalties for failing to provide them, preparation time, travel time and out-of-town travel, training time, make-up time, alternative work week schedules, vacation time, treatment of bonuses and commissions, penalties for late payment of wages, etc.

Wage and hour law is a very detailed and a statute-based area of “basic” labor law.

To find out the minimum wage in your state get in touch with the State’s Department of Labor.