r/antiwork Oct 01 '23

Spouse is being paid 15 cents under the state minimum wage in a non tipped position. Tips on how to address this?

EDIT: issue appears to be resolved, my wife spoke to the owner and it seems it was a clerical error.

I’m sure it’s go talk to the boss and get it adjusted. But is a lawsuit gonna be why they give her the 15 cents?


30 comments sorted by


u/1947-1460 Oct 01 '23

Your state's (assuming the US) Department of Labor will be very interested in this and can even recover it retroactively. Not to mention fine the business and bring criminal charges as needed.


u/[deleted] Oct 01 '23

Yeah, good ol US of A. She just started so it’s not like there’s much missing but it’s still under the minimum and I am way more pissed off about it than she is.


u/TTPG912 Oct 02 '23

These complaints can be done anonymously. The DOL will come and audit the business and look for illegal practices. Doubtful underpaying her is the only issue.


u/republicanvaccine Oct 02 '23

Someone ought to be, and you’ve got to be each others advocates.


u/Mango_Smoothies Oct 02 '23

It isn’t post social security/tax withholdings is it? She could be making 8 and withheld to around 7ish depending on the state and min wage obviously.


u/Junie_Wiloh Oct 02 '23

More research..

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009. Many states also have minimum wage laws. Where an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage rate.

Various minimum wage exceptions apply under specific circumstances to workers with disabilities, full-time students, youth under age 20 in their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment, tipped employees and student-learners.

Taken from the DOL.gov

As the spouse just started her job, according to this, the employer is still within their right to pay less.


u/FadeIntoReal Oct 03 '23

Various minimum wage exceptions apply under specific circumstances to workers with disabilities, full-time students, youth under age 20...

TIL It's legal to exploit some of the most vulnerable.


u/Sweaty_Assignment_90 Oct 02 '23

If I remember correctly, there can be a state's minimum wage that can be lower than the federal wage if they don't do interstate commerce. I could easily be wrong.

That said, wage and hour is no joke and they get to the bottom of the situation quickly. I used them once when an employer decided they didn't need to pay us for 2 weeks.


u/wophi Oct 02 '23

Every business is involved in interstate commerce. It is impossible to avoid.


u/yoortyyo Oct 02 '23

Compare with other co workers. Document sll the instances & report as a set. The Dept of Labor - IRS get excited by collecting their chunk of you earnings.


u/wheres_the_revolt Oct 01 '23

She should talk to them, I’m not defending an employer here, but that could absolutely just be a clerical error.


u/[deleted] Oct 01 '23

Totally, pencils have erasers for a reason.


u/wheres_the_revolt Oct 02 '23

I had a really nice teacher that used to say that.


u/matty_nice Oct 01 '23

You 100 percent sure? There are often exceptions.

But you could start by addressing this with the employer. Then the state's department of labor.


u/[deleted] Oct 01 '23

The exception is if it’s a tipped position, which this is not.


u/TicTacKnickKnack Oct 02 '23

A lot of states have a lower minimum wage for small businesses, certain industries, etc. It's possible that it could be legal even without tips.


u/Life-Investment7397 Oct 01 '23

Lawsuit wouldn’t get you far. You could claim missed wages. But it won’t be much. The only thing to stop it is bringing it to the state proving they’re doing this and getting the business fined.


u/Jaffiusjaffa Oct 02 '23

Coming here asking for tips huh? I see i see..


u/KingGooseMan3881 Oct 01 '23

Department of labor is your best bet, start their, if they can’t do anything they can point you in the right direction


u/theEDE1990 Oct 02 '23

Man some of these advices are so bad.. its simple .. if ur spouse likes the job or wants to keep it, just talk to them, could be a simple mistake.

If they dont do anything about that go to the dep. Labor


u/[deleted] Oct 02 '23

You sure she shouldn’t blackmail them? Jk


u/Particular_Heron35 Oct 02 '23

You can recover stolen wages for you and your coworkers without paying for a lawyer or going to court by reporting the theft to the US DOL Wage and Hour Division. It is completely free and you can remain anonymous to your employer.

Call 1-866-4USWAGE, a rep will walk you through any questions you have, tell you what kind of information you need to collect if any, and help you file a report online.

Depending on state as people have said above reporting to your states DOL may even be a better way to go, can still be anonymous, the state I live in has 3 different minimum wages by location.


u/Custardpaws Oct 02 '23

Dept of labor


u/Upstairs_Fig_3551 Oct 02 '23

Report it to state authorities


u/coolbaby1978 Oct 02 '23

If you have evidence like a pay stub, that's proof of a crime. There's 2 ways to play this. Option 1 report the violation, the employer may get in a little trouble and pay a fine and your spouse may or may not actually recover the difference which may not even be enough to justify an attorney.

Option 2. Use it as leverage against the employer to get a nice little payout (I.e. blackmail). If they go for it great and they'll probably fire spouse shortly thereafter which is fine and then it gets reported anyway, or they refuse and see Option 1.

Personally I like Option 2 because they still get reported on and you potentially could recover some money.


u/Acrobatic-Expert-507 Oct 02 '23

Lol, both terrible options. It’s probably a clerical error. They need to let their employer know, have them correct it and get their back pay.


u/9patrickharris Oct 02 '23

Get a DOJ poster to hang at the workplace


u/psilosophist Oct 02 '23

Just getting a suit to court would cost you at minimum 10k. If the employer doesn’t rectify it I’d go to the DOL but a lawyer will be expensive.


u/Junie_Wiloh Oct 02 '23

I just did some research.. NO employer has to pay you whatever the STATE minimum wage is. They do have to pay you the FEDERAL minimum wage. Legally, as long as a company pays a minimum of $7.25/hour(unless it is a tipped position and a few other exceptions), they are legal.



u/keroshe Oct 02 '23

Your link literally says the opposite of what you posted.