The term wage is used to describe the financial funds that an individual is compensated with for the work that he/she provides. When an individual works for an employer, he/she is provided with wages. Wages can refer to a set salary that an individual receives for the work that he/she completes, or an hourly wage that he/she is given for the amount of time that he/she works.
It is important for an individual to understand the difference between a salary and an hourly wage, as this will help to determine the rights that he/she has in regard to overtime work, time off, and holiday pay. For example, an individual who is earning a salary will receive the same compensation if he/she must take time off of work, however, he/she will not be entitled to overtime pay. On the other hand, an individual who receives an hourly pay will not be paid if he/she takes time off of work, but he/she will be compensated for any overtime that he/she completes.
In addition to understanding the fundamental difference between wage and salary compensation, an individual should be familiar with basic labor laws, including minimum wage laws in his/her state. Understanding this fundamental information is vital to ensuring that an individual's rights are being upheld.
Every state has established minimum wage standards that employers must adhere to. If an individual is eligible for minimum wage, failure to provide him/her with at least this compensation is a violation of labor laws. Another important factor that an individual should be concerned with is wage garnishment. This issue and potential collection method employed by lenders can adversely impact the income earned by an individual.