If you are about to join the workforce for the first time or simply need an entry-level position, it’s crucial to understand the minimum wage. It gives you an opportunity to assess whether a prospect will meet your needs and feels fair based on the work involved. If you’re curious about the minimum wage in Louisiana, here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Minimum Wage?
A minimum wage is a dollar amount. It’s the lowest pay rate a company can offer a covered nonexempt employee per hour of work.
The majority of the workforce is classified as nonexempt. However, there are exceptions for full-time students, full-time students, young workers, and disabled workers, depending on the nature of employment arrangements.
There is a federal minimum wage that states and cities have to either meet or exceed. No state or city laws can force a lower minimum wage, though they can create regulations that make a higher rate mandatory.
The last federal minimum wage increase happened in July 2009. At that point, the minimum wage was set to $7.25 per hour for non-tipped workers and $2.13 an hour for tipped workers. However, tipped workers still need to earn at least $7.25 per hour. If the value of their tips doesn’t make up the difference, the employer has to cover the gap.
In essence, the federal minimum wage is a baseline. States and cities can follow that rule – either through legislation or by default – or they can enact a minimum wage that goes above that mark.
What Is the Minimum Wage in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, there are no minimum wage laws at the state level. As a result, the minimum wage defaults to the federal minimum wage, making it $7.25 per hour for non-tipped workers and $2.13 per hour for tipped workers, suggesting their tips make up the difference, bringing them to the equivalent of $7.254 per hour.
Is the Louisiana Minimum Wage a Living Wage?
In the simplest sense, a living wage is an amount of income that is sufficient to support a household. Typically, the estimates are based on having full-time hours, which is considered to be 40 hours per week or 2080 hours over the course of a year. A living wage does vary depending on family size.
For single adults without children, the living wage is considered to be $14.06 per hour. For two adults – with only one working – with two children, the living wage is $32.16 per hour. If both adults in that household work, they each would need to make $19.99 per hour to collectively hit a living wage.
In all cases, the living wage is far below Louisiana’s minimum wage. Additionally, aside from single adults without children, the minimum wage wouldn’t even get your household above the poverty level.
Do you have any opinions about the minimum wage in Louisiana? Do you think it’s fair? Or is it too low? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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