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Georgia Minimum Wage Increases: Everything You Need to Know

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With many states implementing multiyear minimum wage campaigns, it can be hard to stay on top of what you’re required to pay in your state.

We’re here to help you learn more about the minimum wage in Georgia, and what you can do as a small-business owner to navigate these changes.

What is the minimum wage in Georgia for 2020?

While Georgia’s state law sets the minimum wage rate at $5.15 per hour, the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act applies, meaning that most employees must earn a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. This means that the federal minimum wage supersedes the minimum wage in Georgia.

Since the Georgia minimum wage falls under the federal minimum wage, the same federal minimum wage exceptions apply. The federal hourly minimum wage exemptions include:

  • Tipped employees, for whom the minimum wage is $2.13 per hour (employers may utilize a maximum tip credit of $5.12 per hour)

  • Employees under the age of 20, who may be paid a training wage of $4.25 per hour during the first 90 days of employment

  • Full-time students, who may be paid no less than 85 percent of the minimum wage in Georgia ($6.16) for up to 20 hours of work per week when school is in session.

Keep in mind that counties, cities, and towns may have their own minimum wage laws. Be sure to check what local wage laws may apply to you.

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Are there plans to change the minimum wage?

There is no indication the Georgia legislature is planning to increase the state minimum wage, so it appears that the state’s minimum wage rate will remain at the federal level.

How should small business owners prepare for possible changes to the minimum wage?

Even if changes to the minimum wage in Georgia aren’t on the horizon, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare in case they ever are. Every business is different, so there isn’t one right way to do this. Here are a few options you may want to consider:

As always, to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance (such as ensuring you have an EIN) with applicable wage laws, you should discuss Georgia’s minimum wage laws with your accountant and lawyer.