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As an employer, you want to pay your employees a competitive and living wage — and be sure to follow the law. Some states have multiyear plans to increase the minimum wage, while other minimum wage laws vary by city.
If you’re currently a small-business owner in Louisiana, we’ve got you covered for your first step toward navigating the Louisiana minimum wage in 2024 and beyond.
What is the minimum wage in Louisiana?
The Louisiana minimum wage remains unchanged from the last few years at $7.25. Louisiana mirrors the federal minimum wage. The Louisiana minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $0.70 from $6.55 to $7.25. The federal rate has not changed since 2009.
All exemptions in the Louisiana state minimum wage mirror the exemptions under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Occupations such as farm workers, seasonal workers, newspaper deliverers, “informal” workers, and even babysitters can be paid less than $7.25.
For restaurant servers and other tipped employees, the tipped minimum wage is less than the federal minimum wage—typically at $2.13 per hour. However, if your restaurant, café, or small business uses tip pooling, you may have to pay your employees the federal minimum age.
Understand more about how people tip and decide which tipping model will work best for you and your staff.
Will Louisiana’s minimum wage change in 2024 and beyond?
Despite some conversations and proposals around an increase, there are no plans right now for a rise in the Louisiana minimum wage.
How should small business owners prepare for changes to the minimum wage?
While there are no plans in the immediate future for the Louisiana minimum wage to change, advocates across the state are lobbying for it. Eventually, the federal minimum wage will also likely increase, so it’s good to be prepared for what this might mean for your business.
- Make strong hires: Recruiting and training people can be more expensive than paying a higher wage. Have a thoughtful recruitment and onboarding process to ensure everyone who joins your team is a good skill and culture fit for your business, and learn more about retaining valuable employees.
- Invest in your team: Spending a little money or time on training your team and helping them feel valued can decrease turnover at your workplace.
- Talk to your accountant: A trusted accountant can advise you on saving for the future and ensure you’re following all the laws that Louisiana requires, such as making sure you get an EIN for your business.
- Update your tech: Technology can help you save time and money. Consider automating certain aspects of the work (like payroll) to cut costs. Imagine spending several minutes a week running payroll instead of hours (or instead of hiring someone to do it).
- Know how many employees would be affected if there was an increase: This is a good time to take inventory and know how many of your staff members would be affected if the Louisiana minimum wage increases. This will help you prepare for the future.
As always, to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance (such as getting an EIN) with applicable wage laws, you should discuss Louisiana’s minimum wage laws with your trusted accountant and lawyer.