Is the payment of wages regulated by law?

Both federal law and many states’ laws regulate the payment of wages. Some states don’t. Federal law will apply there. In those states where both apply, you have the task of figuring out whether to follow federal or state law, or both!

Federal wage and hour law is set forth in the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA). State laws vary state to state. For example, in California, state wage and hour law is governed by the California Labor Code and industry specific “Wage Orders.”

Federal and/or state laws pertaining to payment of wages can include payment of minimum wage, payment on an hourly or salary basis and overtime, calculation of the “regular rate” of pay for overtime purposes, proper designation of the “workday” and “workweek” for overtime purposes, rest and meal periods, and penalties for failing to provide them, preparation time, travel time and out-of-town travel, training time, make-up time, alternative work week schedules, vacation time, treatment of bonuses and commissions, penalties for late payment of wages, etc.

Wage and hour law is a very detailed and a statute-based area of “basic” labor law.

To find out the minimum wage in your state get in touch with the State's Department of Labor.