State Minimum Wage Rates [Sponsored Thread] Many states have minimum wage requirements. When a state's minimum wage rate is higher than the federal government's minimum wage rate (currently $7.25 an hour), employers in that state must pay their nonexempt employees the higher wage, except in rare situations where an employee is exempt from the state minimum wage but not the federal minimum wage. Conversely, when a state's minimum wage rate is lower than the federal minimum wage, employers in that state must pay their nonexempt employees the federal minimum wage, except in rare situations where an employee is exempt from the federal minimum wage but not the state minimum wage. To help ensure that the minimum wage keeps pace with the rising cost of living, 10 states adjust their minimum wage rates annually. Other states adjust their minimum wage rates periodically through legislation or ballot initiatives. This Quick Reference chart sets forth the state minimum wage rates for all 50-states plus DC. It should be noted that many states also have provisions or requirements that can alter the basic minimum wage rate, such as subminimum wages; credits for tipped employees or board and lodging; and lower minimum wage rates for small employers or employers that offer health benefits.