What You Need to Know About Georgia’s Minimum Wage

Labor laws can be complicated, and Georgia workers may have questions about Georgia’s minimum wage. Here’s everything you need to know about the minimum wage in Georgia.

Most workers in Georgia earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. In some cases, Georgia employees may only receive Georgia’s minimum wage ($5.15 per hour).

In Georgia, what is the minimum wage?

Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15 per hour. However, most Georgia workers are entitled to the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.

What is the FLSA?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) is a federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor standards for employees across the United States. The FLSA establishes which employees are eligible for the federal minimum wage.

Does the federal minimum wage apply to all Georgia employees?

Not quite—the FLSA applies to all companies with at least $500,000 in yearly revenue. In addition, the FLSA covers employers who deal with interstate commerce.

The FLSA’s definition of interstate commerce is broad, so most employees are entitled to the federal minimum wage. For example, a Georgia custodial worker who works for a business that engages in interstate commerce must earn at least the federal minimum wage.

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Do Georgia domestic service workers get the federal minimum wage?

The FLSA covers domestic service workers such as day workers, housekeepers, chauffeurs, cooks, or full-time babysitters if they:

  • Make at least $1,700 from one employer in a calendar year, or
  • Work at least eight hours a week for one or more employers

All Georgia employees who meet these requirements must earn at least $7.25 per hour. Other domestic service workers may earn Georgia’s $5.15 minimum wage.

What is the minimum wage for Georgia employees the FLSA does not cover?

The FLSA does not cover some employees, including those who work at small companies which operate only within Georgia and some part-time domestic workers. These employees must receive at least $5.15 per hour (Georgia’s minimum wage).

Can a Georgia employer ever pay their employees less than minimum wage?

This question is a bit tricky. All Georgia employees are subject to a minimum wage, either Georgia’s $5.15 per hour or the federal $7.25 per hour. Under Georgia law, all employees must earn at least the applicable minimum wage.

Nevertheless, this minimum wage does not necessarily have to come from an employer. In some cases, employers can pay tipped workers less than minimum wage.

In Georgia, are tipped workers entitled to minimum wage laws?

Yes, tipped workers in Georgia are entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. However, Georgia employers can claim a tip credit which allows them to apply tips to an employee’s wages.

What is a tip credit?

In Georgia, a tip credit is when an employer pays a tipped worker less than minimum wage. Georgia considers this legal so long as the employee takes home at least $7.25 per hour from wages and tips.

In Georgia, how large can a tip credit be?

Georgia employers must pay tipped employees at least $2.13 per hour. Tips can account for the remaining $5.12 to get employees to the federal minimum wage. An employer must pay an employee the difference if their tip earnings do not bring them up to the $7.25 minimum wage in a given workweek.

Who does Georgia consider a “tipped employee”?

In Georgia, a “tipped employee” is a worker who regularly earns more than $30 per month in tips.

What is Georgia’s youth minimum wage?

Georgia’s youth minimum wage is $4.25 an hour. Employers can pay employees who are under 20 years old the youth minimum wage for the first 90 days of employment. After 90 days, they must pay the state or federal minimum wage.

Can a Georgia employer fire an employee to hire a youth employee?

No, the FLSA prohibits Georgia employers from firing employees to make room for a cheaper youth worker.

Related: Can an Employer Sue an Employee for Poor Performance?

In Georgia, can displaced workers sue their employers?

Yes, if an employer displaces a worker to hire a youth employee, that worker can sue the employer. A Georgia court may command an employer to rehire a displaced worker, pay them any lost wages, and reimburse them for other unemployment-related expenses.

Are there exceptions to FLSA minimum wage guidelines?

Yes, click here for a longer list of FLSA-exempt employees. FLSA exemptions are complicated, so Georgia employers should consult their local Wage and Hour Division (WHD) office before making wage decisions.

In Georgia, are there minimum standards for overtime pay?

Yes, the FLSA sets minimum overtime requirements in Georgia. The minimum overtime pay for most Georgia workers is 1.5 times regular hourly wages. For most workers, overtime pay kicks in if they work at least 40 hours in one workweek.

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