Q: Our company is based in Missouri. Do we have to comply with the new federal minimum wage law?

A: On July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25/hour, which is higher than Missouri’s current minimum wage of $7.05/hour. Because no state can set a minimum wage below the federal minimum wage, effective July 24, Missouri’s minimum wage automatically will increase to the federal level of $7.25/hour.

As a result, effective July 24, 2009, employers that have a gross income of $500,000 or more must pay employees the new state minimum wage rate of $7.25. Tipped employees are entitled to half of the state minimum wage rate. If the tipped employee does not make up the other half of the minimum wage in tips, however, the employer must pay the difference.