Wage and hour laws are intended to serve as guidelines employers must adhere to in order to stay on the right side of the law. They take into account issues such as minimum wage, overtime pay and vacation and sick time, among others.
Minimum Wage in Arkansas
The current minimum wage for workers within the state of Arkansas is $8, which exceeds the federal minimum wage of $7.25 by $0.75.
Minimum Wage of Tipped Workers: Arkansas employees who regularly earn tips can be paid as little as $2.63 per hour provided that, when combined with tips, their hourly wage meets or exceeds Arkansas’ minimum wage of $8. Federally, employees who earn tips may be paid as little as $2.13, as long as their combined hourly wage and tipped income meets or exceeds the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Does Minimum Wage Apply to Me: Arkansas’ minimum wage laws apply to employers with four or more employees, regardless of whether the employer is covered under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. There are, however, some employees who are exempt, such as outside sales employees and those who work in executive, administrative and professional capacities. The Arkansas Department of Labor is a great resource for finding out more about Arkansas’ minimum wage-exempt employees.
When Are Raises Required: Neither state nor federal government requires that Arkansas employers give their employees raises. The decision of whether to increase an employee’s salary is generally made by the employer on a case-by-case basis.
Work Hours in Arkansas
There are no state or federal guidelines regarding how many hours Arkansas adults may work within a day or week. There are, however, guidelines that dictate how often and how long 14, 15 and 16-year-olds can work. Minors who are 14 or 15 may not exceed eight hours in a day, six days in a week or 48 hours in one week, regardless of whether school is in session. They also cannot start work before 6 am or finish after 7 pm while in school. Those who are 16 may not work before 6 am or after 11 pm or exceed 10 hours a day, six days a week or 54 hours in a week when in school. Guidelines are the same for when 16-year-olds are not in school, with the exception that there is no limit as to how late they can work if there is no school the next morning.
Paying Overtime: Arkansas employers are required by law to pay overtime at a rate of one-and-one-half times the typical hourly rate for any hours that exceed 40 worked in a standard workweek. This is the same rule in place at the federal level. Employers with less than four employees, and those covered under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, are not required to offer overtime pay.
Guaranteed Breaks and Meals: Arkansas employers are not required by state or federal law to grant breaks to employees, although one exception to this applies to those under 16 who work in the entertainment industry. Generally, the decisions as to whether to offer breaks, and for how long, are agreed upon by the employer and employee. Additionally, as of July 1, 2009, Arkansas employers must give breastfeeding mothers a reasonable, unpaid break period in which to breastfeed or pump breast milk.
Paid Time Off and Sick Pay: Arkansas employers are not bound by state or federal law to offer employees paid time off or sick pay. The decision to do so is usually left up to the employer.
Notice Period for Employee Termination: Arkansas follows the “employment at will” doctrine, which essentially says that state employers may terminate their workers at any time, and for virtually any reason.
Plant Closings & Layoffs: Arkansas does not have its own laws regarding notifying employees about plant closings and layoffs. Thus, state employers must adhere to federal guidelines, which state that employers of more than 100 must distribute written notification about upcoming plant closings or layoffs at least 60 days before they occur.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.