The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, as of 2015; however, this amount is often superseded by state and corporate regulations. The federal minimum wage functions as a floor below which wages cannot sink except in special circumstances.
Federal minimum wage does not guarantee or provide recourse for employees who have not been paid by their employers. It provides grounds for further legal action, but it does not contain the machinery to accomplish these actions within its own framework. States may provide standing for such claims within their own independent wage structuring plans.
The federal minimum wage was specified in the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the rate of $7.25 per hour was established in July 2009. As of 2015, it remains the federal minimum, although debate on the topic is a frequent issue in all arenas of politics and throughout the American political sphere both public and private.
Employers must comply with both federal and state regulations regarding employee compensation and the protection of employee rights to payment. If state laws are more stringent, they must be upheld even in the absence of corresponding federal laws. Where the laws overlap, the satisfaction of one constitutes the satisfaction of the other.