What Is the Minimum Wage in Louisiana?

Desmond Rhodes  | 

Louisiana does not technically have a state minimum wage. Instead, the state has defaulted to the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. However, Louisiana recently proposed a bill to make the state minimum wage rate higher than what is federally mandated. In 2018, the Louisiana Senate voted down a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $8 per hour for 2019, and then again to $8.50 an hour in 2020 — causing the minimum wage to remain stagnant.

2019 Minimum Wage in Louisiana: $7.25 per hour

Although the minimum wage throughout the state is $7.25, many employees will see a difference in their paycheck due to several circumstances. For instance, tipped employees will likely see a different income than employees who work overtime or work for a company who offers holiday pay. You can expect a rough estimate of your weekly and annual income, barring any exemptions that may apply to you in the state of Louisiana.

Tipped: $7.25 per hour

To compensate for additional earnings made in tips, employers can issue a tip credit in Louisiana at a maximum of $5.12. This means that a business can pay you a minimum cash wage of $2.13, as long as the employee is making at least $7.25 an hour — with tips included. 

Louisiana does not specify how much an employee may make in tips to be considered a tipped employee. Usually, tipped employees “are those who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips.” Since Louisiana observes the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA), standard practices commonly apply. 

Weekly: $290.00 per week

The weekly total for employees who make the federal minimum wage, such as those in Louisiana, is $290 per week. This is totaled by taking the minimum wage ($7.25) and multiplying it by a standard 40-day workweek — where $7.25 x 40 = $290.00. This total does not figure in state and federal tax deductions, overtime hours or holiday pay, or time-off and sick days. 

Annually: $15,080.00 per year

An annual income (if you are not paid salary) at the federal minimum wage rate, is $15,080. This is determined by taking your weekly wage ($290) and multiplying it by how many weeks there are in a year (52), giving an employee an estimated $15,080 in yearly income. This number is an estimate, as it does not take into account state and federal tax deductions, overtime pay, or time taken off.

Overtime: $10.88 per hour

In compliance with the FLSA, Louisiana must pay a rate of time-and-a-half for employees who work over 40 in a workweek. If an employee works over 40 hours, for every hour after 40, they shall receive their regular wage ($7.25) plus half ($3.63), or $10.88 per each overtime hour. 

Louisiana Exempt Employees

Louisiana’s exempt employees and their respective minimum rates are as follows:

  • Louisiana Student Min. Wage – $6.26
  • Louisiana Under 20 Min. Wage – $4.25

If an employee falls under one of these categories, they will receive less than the federal minimum wage rate.

Louisiana Minimum Wage Increase News

As stated above, the Louisiana Senate voted 21-17 against a bill that would have increased the state minimum wage to $8.50 by 2020. Senate Bill 162 being rejected was called “a step backward” by Governor Edwards. The denial of the modest increase was ultimately influenced by business interest groups, who claimed the bill would take the decision-making abilities away from business owners.


Image Source: Deposit Photos

Desmond Rhodes is a writer out of the Northwest. A philosopher, gamer, and enjoys his Hunter S. Thompson.

This post was updated July 1, 2019. It was originally published July 1, 2019.