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Minimum Wage in West Virginia in 2016

Presently in 2016, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. West Virginia' minimum wage went up to $8.75 per hour, up from $8.00 per hour, on January 1, 2016. Here are some other things to know about the minimum wage in West Virginia in 2016:

Before January 1, 2015, West Virginia employers were previously covered

under federal minimum wage requirements if 80% of their employees were covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. As of January 1, 2015, the definition of employer under W.Va.Code § 21-5C-1(e) no longer contains the jurisdictional exemption for employers having 80% of their employees covered by federal law. Thus, these employers are now covered by this law and subject to paying a higher minimum wage to their employees.

In order for West Virginia minimum wage laws to apply, the employer must have at least six (6) nonexempt employees working at any one separate, distinct, and permanent business location. If the number of employees working at a business location regularly varies, and there are often less than the required six (6) employees working at one separate, distinct, and permanent location, employers may still have to be concerned about paying the state minimum wage. Minimum wage coverage fluctuates depending upon whether an employer meets the six employee requirement for a particular calendar week.

As of January 1, 2015, the federal standard of $2.13 no longer applied to West Virginia employees that work for tips. This amount went up to $2.40 an hour in 2015 and increased to $2.62 this year. Allowable credits against the minimum wage are covered by the same standards that apply to determining state minimum wage coverage. Thus, "employers" defined as such under §21-5C-1(e) must pay this increased minimum wage to tipped employees.

A credit of seventy percent of the minimum wage rate is allowable to employers for their employees that customarily receive tips. However, when tipped employees do not receive an hourly rate, plus tips, to equal the minimum wage, employers must account for the shortfall and increase their minimum wage as necessary. In addition, for tips to be considered against the seventy (70) % credit, an employee's tips must be reported on IRS-approved forms.

As to employees under the age of twenty, employers may pay such employees, first hired on or after January 1, 2015, a training wage of at least $6.40 per hour for the first 90 days of employment. Beginning with the 91st day of employment, an employer must pay the employee the required minimum wage rate.

If you are an employee that is currently not receiving the West Virginia minimum wage of $8.75 per hour, and, as a result, you believe that your employer is violating your rights under state and federal law, please call Amy Crossan, an expert in employment law, for a consultation at 304.523.8451.

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