Employment Discrimination Blog

Friday, October 4, 2019

Georgia Employers: Stay Abreast of State Hour and Wage Laws

What is the minimum wage in the state of Georgia?

As a Georgia employer, you must abide by a myriad of state and federal laws in managing and paying your employees. Failure to follow state and federal laws could result in tremendous fines, civil penalties, and other attendant consequences. It is imperative that employers in Georgia understand the state’s hour and wage laws, along with laws concerning tips, break time, vacations, and more. Our Atlanta employment law lawyers outline some fundamental employment laws in the state below.

Minimum Wages in Georgia 

In the state of Georgia, the minimum wage is $5.15 per hour, however, employers subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must be paid the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. The FLSA covers all employers who make over $500,000 in annual sales per year or those engaged in interstate commerce. Most employers will fall under the FLSA, meaning that generally $7.25 will be the minimum an employee can make in Georgia.

Special rules apply to tipped employees. Tipped employees do not need to make $7.25 per hour as their base rate, but must make at least that amount with their base pay combined with tips. Federal law allows employers to institute the practice of tip pooling, in which employees must chip in some or all of their tips to be split among a group of employees. Employers cannot keep any of the tips or include managers within the tip pool.

Georgia law does not require overtime pay, but federal law, which again applies to employers covered under the FLSA, will require overtime unless they are exempt. Employees who make over $455 per week and hold an administrative, executive or professional position will be exempt from overtime.  

Break Time

Georgia law does not require that employers provide employees with lunch or other breaks.  If employees are required to work during a break, they may still be entitled to pay. Further, short breaks are typically not docked from an employee’s pay.

Hour and wage complaints are common in many industries, especially those involving tipped employees.  Should you as an employer find yourself dealing with an hour and wage investigation or complaint, contact an employment law attorney for prompt assistance. 

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The attorneys of Pankey & Horlock, LLC serve the entire state of Georgia, including Atlanta, Alpharetta, Auburn, Decatur, Doraville, Douglasville, Duluth, Kennesaw, Lawrenceville, Marietta, Stone Mountain, Dekalb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, and Cobb County, GA.

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