What is a “Wage?” A wage is payment or compensation earned by an employee for work performed under an employer’s direction or with the employer’s knowledge or consent. Generally, wages are paid as currency (U.S. Dollars) representing a length of time worked.

Minimum Wage under Iowa Law:
$7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees.

Frequency of Pay:
An employer must pay employees at least in monthly, semimonthly, or biweekly installments on regularly spaced pay days designated by the employer. An employer must pay employees within twelve (12) days, (excluding Sundays and legal holidays) of the end of the pay period.

Wages Paid On Time:
Generally, an employer must set regular paydays, and pay all earned wages of an employee on time regardless of whether the employee has turned in a time sheet or punch card, quit without notice or provided any other form or document required by the employer.

Compensable Time: For What Time Must an Employee Be Paid?
All of the time an employer requires an employee to be at work is compensable time, whether or not the employee is officially “on the clock.”

Tipped Employees: Payment of Less than Minimum Wage
This amount may be no less than $4.35 per hour provided that earned tips for the week combined with the $4.35 per hour are equal at least to the minimum wage $7.25 for all hours worked. Where an employee’s earnings fall short of the minimum wage due to meager tips, the employer must make up the difference.

Holding Wages: An employer may not keep any part of the wage of an employee, either by withholding an entire paycheck, part of a paycheck, or by way of incremental wage deductions from several paychecks, as security against some future or contingent occurrence. This practice amounts to a confiscation of pay and is a direct violation of the law requiring timely payment of earned wages. (Note: This section concerns the indefinite holding of wages as security, not the short-term delay of pay for payroll processing.)

Bounced Paychecks: Paying wages with a bad check is the same as failing to pay wages and may subject an employer to civil and criminal penalties.

Overtime: Overtime is payment to an employee of one and one-half (1.5) times the regular hourly wage for work performed in excess of 40 hours in a 7-day work week. However, under state and federal law, some employers are exempt from the requirement to pay overtime.

Termination: If your employment is terminated your final pay is due, on or before the day on which the employee would have been paid the wages if the employment had not terminated (the next scheduled payday.) Employment Termination is not the same as Program Termination. Employment Termination means that you were fired from your job.

Where to Find Help: The Department of Labor’s web site is www.dol.gov The State of Iowa’s Dept. of Workforce Developement web site is https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov

Please note that you should not be paying FICA, FUTA AND SS, IF YOU ARE TALK TO YOU EMPLOYER.