Arkansas Minimum Wage for 2016, 2017
Arkansas' state minimum wage rate is $8.50 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. You are entitled to be paid the higher state minimum wage. The minimum wage applies to most employees in Arkansas, with limited exceptions including tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations.†
The Arkansas minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $2.25 from $6.25 to $8.50. Arkansas' minimum wage rate is linked to a Customer Price Index, which is intended to raise the rate along with inflation. The current minimum wage rate is re-evaluated yearly based on these values.
As of January 1st 2016, the Arkansas Minimum Wage has been raised to $8.00 per hour, an increase of .50 cents over last years rate of $7.50 per hour. The minimum wage is also scheduled to rise again to $8.50 on January 1, 2017. All of these minimum wage increases are based on a voter approved initiative on November 4th 2014. Previously, Arkansas had not updated their minimum wage since 2006, and the Federal Minimum Wage took precedence.
Arkansas exempts casual domestic workers (like babysitters and caregivers), employees at small newspapers, Federal government employees, and some farm workers from the minimum wage. Arkansas' minimum wage laws are only applicable to employers of 4 or more employees.
Special minimum wage rates apply to full time students, who can be paid as little as 85% of the minimum wage by any employer with a Student Certificate of Eligibility for up to 20 hours a week of part time work.
Arkansas employers may not pay you under $8.50 per hour unless you or your occupation are specifically exempt from the minimum wage under state or federal law.
If you have questions about the Arkansas minimum wage, please ask us and someone will respond to you as soon as possible. Looking for a new job? Use the free Arkansas job search utility to find local job openings hiring now.
All Arkansas employers must display an approved Arkansas minimum wage poster in a prominent place to inform employees about the minimum wage and their worker's rights under Arkansas labor law.
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Arkansas Minimum Wage & Labor Law Posters
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Arkansas labor law requires all employers in Arkansas to visibly display an approved Arkansas minimum wage poster, and other Arkansas and federal labor law posters, to ensure that all employees are aware of federal and Arkansas labor law and overtime regulations. Failure to display a Arkansas labor law poster in the workplace can result in severe fines.
The Arkansas minimum wage poster, and additional required Arkansas labor law posters, are also available on the Arkansas labor law posters download page.
Arkansas Overtime Minimum Wage
All workers who put in over 40 weekly hours are entitled to a minimum wage of at least 1.5 times the regular applicable minimum wage (learn more about Arkansas overtime pay). Some states require workers who work over a certain number of daily hours to be eligible for this overtime rate as well (Arkansas law does specify a daily overtime limit).
The FLSA guarantees all AR employees adequate overtime compensation for all qualifying overtime hours worked. If your employer does not pay adequate overtime wages, you can file an unpaid overtime claim with the Arkansas Department of Labor.
Arkansas Minimum Wage Exemptions
In addition to any Arkansas-specific minimum wage exemptions described above, the Federal Fair Labor Standards act defines special minimum wage rates applicable to certain types of workers. You may be paid under the Arkansas minimum wage if you fit into one of the following categories:
- Arkansas Under 20 Minimum Wage - $4.25 - Federal law allows any employer in Arkansas to pay a new employee who is under 20 years of age a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment.
- Arkansas Tipped Minimum Wage - See Here - Employees who earn a certain amount of tips every month may be paid a lower cash minimum wage, but must earn at least $8.50 including tips every hour. For more details, read about the Arkansas tipped minimum wage.
Frequently Asked Questions - Arkansas Minimum Wage & Labor Law
- What is the Arkansas minimum wage?
The current Arkansas minimum wage of $8.50 per hour is the lowest amount a non-exempt employee in Arkansas can legally be paid for hourly work. Special minimum wage rates, such as the "Arkansas waitress minimum wage" for tipped employees, may apply to certain workers.
- How much will I earn working a minimum wage jobin Arkansas?
A full time minimum wage worker in Arkansas working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, will earn $68.00 per day, $340.00 per week, and $17,680.00 per year1. The national poverty line for a family unit consisting of two people is $16,020.00 per year.
- What is the Arkansas under 18 minimum wage?
Arkansas employers may pay 18 year olds and minors the youth minimum wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. Other labor law exemptions for minors in Arkansas may exist.
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1 These earnings estimates do not account for the Arkansas income tax , federal income tax, or local/municipal income taxes.
2 Poverty line for a family of two in the lower 48 published 2016 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services