While the Fight For 15 gathers momentum across the country to raise the minimum wage in some states, it can be confusing to stay up to date with the minimum wage laws in your own place of business.
We’ve compiled a guide for Wyoming small business owners to feel prepared for any and all changes in minimum wage laws in 2019 and beyond.
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What is the minimum wage in Wyoming?
The Wyoming minimum wage is $5.15. Wyoming is tied for the lowest minimum wage in the nation. Georgia’s minimum wage is also $5.15.
However, since the federal minimum wage is $7.25, Wyoming workers are entitled to earn $7.25 unless they are considered exempt under the FLSA. The federal minimum wage trumps any state or local minimum wages, as long as the federal minimum wage is higher.
Some exemptions to consider:
- Employers can take a “tip credit” of up to $3.02 per hour. Tipped employees must be paid a minimum of $2.13 per hour. In Wyoming a tipped employee is someone who receives more than $30 in tips per month.
Student workers and interns can be paid 85 percent of the minimum wage rate, or $6.16 per hour.
- Any new employee under the age of 20 can be paid a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of work.
- Employees working overtime — more than 40 hours per week — are entitled to earn 1.5 times their hourly wage, or a total of $10.88 per hour.
Will the minimum wage change in 2019?
The Wyoming minimum wage is not slated to change in 2019. There was a proposal in 2017 to raise the state minimum wage to match the federal rate, but it was rejected in the house legislature. Some workers are not protected by the federal minimum wage, depending on company size, status, and other factors, so the increase in the state minimum wage would have benefited them.
Are there plans to change Wyoming’s minimum wage beyond 2019?
There are no current plans to increase the minimum wage beyond 2019. But since bills have been proposed in the legislature in the past, there’s a chance that new ones could come up this legislative session.
How should small business owners prepare for changes to the minimum wage?
Even though there are no official plans to increase the minimum wage in Wyoming, it’s good to financially prepare your business for a future increase. Talk to an accountant to ensure you’re paying your workers the correct minimum wage, state or federal.
Here are a few things you can do to be ready for a potential increase:
Audit your expenses: Look over your cash flow and see if there is anything you can change. Do you need to cut expenses by working with different vendors? Hosting events and pop-ups and even renting out your extra space can help you bring in more funds.
Keep the good employees: It’s expensive to hire, fire, recruit, and train employees. When you do hire new workers, make sure you’re hiring the best of the best. Once they are on board, dedicate time and resources to help retain those who contribute positively to company culture.
Update technology: Consider automating your payroll. This saves you time so you can focus on other aspects of your growing business.