A brief guide to minimum wage in Alabama
All workers have certain guaranteed rights. One is to be paid the minimum wage in Alabama. The state has not set its own rate and follows federal guidelines. This means that minimum wages in Alabama are $7.25 an hour. No employer is allowed to pay their workers any less than that amount.
Note that minimum wages in Alabama also apply to workers who are employed in a job that includes tips. Any employer who claims this means that they can pay less on an hourly basis is either misinformed or not telling the truth. Employees who are working in a context which includes tips, such as waiters, are still entitled to be paid the minimum wage in Alabama.
On top of this hourly salary, questions about payments for overtime labor may apply. Any person who works more than 40 hours a week is entitled to payment for overtime work in addition to minimum wages in Alabama. Dishonest employers may try to avoid making this payment by providing nominal promotions to employees that make them "salaried employees." They will claim that a fixed weekly salary means that a worker is no longer entitled to receive overtime payments on top of any minimum wage in Alabama payments.
However, every employee is entitled to be paid time and a half for their labor. In the case of people who work for minimum wages in Alabama, this means they should receive $10.88 for every hour worked beyond 40 hours within a given week.
Note that there are several exemptions to these laws. For example, salespeople who earn more than half of their income as the result of receiving commission payments may not be entitled to minimum wage in Alabama. Farmworkers may be exempt from both minimum wage and overtime payments.
Another important exception to minimum wages in Alabama concerns young employees. If a worker is under the age of 20, for the first 90 days of their employment their wages will be set at $4.25 an hour. However, after 90 days have passed or they reach the age of 20, they must be paid minimum wage in Alabama.
There are several resources which are available to any employee whose rights are not being respected by their employer. If you are not being paid minimum wage in Alabama, you should report this violation to the Wage and Hour department of the US Department of Labors. This government agency has two offices in Alabama, one in Mobile and another in Birmingham. Contact them with the details of your case and they will investigate underpayments of minimum wages in Alabama.
It is important to maintain copies of all of your financial records, including paystubs and tax returns. People who have not been paid minimum wage in Alabama may decide at a later date to go to civil court to sue for the salary they were underpaid. The more documentation you have, the likelier the chance of a favorable legal outcome.