Alabama has not established a minimum wage rate. For more information on Alabama’s minimum wage laws, visit our Alabama Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Since Alabama has no state minimum wage rate, it follows the federal minimum of $7.25, as stated in the Fair Labors Standard Act of 2009. There is a mandate for employers in Alabama to pay their employees the standard minimum wage rate.
Related topic covered on other pages include:
Alabama labor laws do not have laws governing the payment of overtime. Federal overtime laws apply. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.
The lack of a minimum wage rate in Alabama requires employers to follow the federal rules on overtime.
For this reason, Alabama employees are guaranteed to receive 1.5 times their minimum wage rate for every excess hour beyond 40 in every workweek. Therefore, the minimum overtime wage for Alabama is $10.88.
Alabama does not have a prevailing wage law that governs wage rates on government project or service contracts.
Under certain circumstances, employers in Alabama may be required to pay residents wage rates established by federal prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the federal and state’s standard minimum wage rates.
Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain government services. See the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.
There was a prevailing wage rate in Alabama before the state repealed it in 1980, and no other provision came afterward. On April 12, 2022, the US Department of Labor proposed to make some revisions to the Davis-Bacon Act and other federal labor laws.
Meals and Breaks
Alabama labor laws require employers to provide a 30-minute meal/rest period to employees ages 14 and 15 who are scheduled to work 5 continuous hours. Alabama Child Labor Laws
Alabama employers are not required to provide a meal period or breaks to employees 16 years of age and over, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks.
However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.
Nursing Mother Breaks
Alabama labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.
Although Alabama does not have a specific law regarding breaks for nursing mothers, the federal law says otherwise. The amended federal FLSA took effect on March 23, 2010, protecting breastfeeding mothers.
Also, nursing mothers in Alabama can breastfeed in public and private places without fear of being slapped with indecency laws. However, nursing mother employees are expected to align their extraction breaks with the regularly scheduled ones.
Alabama employers are not mandated to give their employees paid or unpaid vacation leave. If some employers decide to offer vacation time benefits to their employees, they must ensure that they comply with the employment contract terms or company policies.
An employer may lawfully create a policy or contract prohibiting some employees from getting paid for their acquired vacation leave upon separation from the company. Many employers offer this benefit in their employment contracts to attract workers to their companies.
There is no labor law in Alabama requiring employers from the private sector to provide paid or unpaid sick leave to their employees. If one of these employers decides to offer such benefits, they must ensure that they comply with the current employment contract or policy terms.Additionally, an employer is not mandated by any Alabama labor law to pay the employees for their sick leave hours. On the other hand, an Alabama employer may be asked to give the employees unpaid sick leave according to some federal laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Information about Alabama sick leave laws may now be found on our Alabama Leave Laws page.
Private employers in Alabama have no obligation to provide holiday leave to their employees, whether paid or unpaid. On the contrary, these employers may even ask their employees to work during holidays without the need to offer premium wages.
These employees will only get extra fees for the overtime work they have rendered more than the 40-hour standard workweek. Employers who decide to offer these benefits must ensure that they conform to the employment contract terms.
Information about Alabama holiday leave laws may now be found on our Alabama Leave Laws page.
Jury Duty Leave
According to Alabama law, employers need to allow and authorize their full-time employees’ paid leave to attend and participate in jury duty. Not all states offer paid leave when responding to the jury summons. Most of them would approve the leave but without pay.
To ensure granting of the paid leave, the employee must inform the employer of the summons by showing the letter a day after receiving it. An employer cannot ask the employee to use paid or unpaid leaves for jury duty use.
Information about Alabama jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Alabama Leave Laws page.
Employers must give their Alabama employees an hour of unpaid voting leave to cast their votes on election day. Since employers have a mandate to allow their employees to take time off work, they can make the hour-leave schedule for their employees.
Information about Alabama voting leave laws may now be found on our Alabama Leave Laws page.
Alabama labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
An Alabama Act exempts the first $25,000 of an employee’s severance pay from taxes after losing his job due to no fault of his own.
Under certain circumstances, Alabama residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Alabama State Unemployment Benefits.
Individuals eligible for unemployment benefits may receive a weekly benefit of $45 to $275 up to 26 weeks max.
Other Topics and Resources
There are several other Alabama labor laws governing the employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:
- Alabama child labor laws for children 17 years of age and younger including topics including work during school hours and summer hours, school days and non-school days, summer days of employment (usually June 1 to Labor Day), hour restrictions, work permits, and hazardous occupations.
- The Alabama Department of Human Resources enforces and protects state employees against discrimination and retaliation. Employees are also protected by federal discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal discrimination laws offer employees protections and violations based on the following:
|Disability (a mental or physical impairment)
|Sex, including sexual harassment
|Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions
- Alabama labor laws regarding wage payment laws including covering frequency and manner of wage payments, regular paydays, payday, pay periods, deductions, direct deposit and payroll cards, wage statement, record keeping, final paychecks, and notice requirements.
- Alabama labor laws regarding minimum wage and overtime exemptions covering non-exempt employees and exempt employees.
- Alabama labor law regarding hours worked including rest breaks, meal breaks, on-call, waiting, travel, sleeping, and meeting times.
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) which covers federal workplace safety and health requirements.
- Active duty employees, including those in the national guard, and veterans may also be eligible for military leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
- The Alabama Department of Labor workers’ compensation in that state and worker compensation insurance claims and enforcement. Employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that minimizes the financial impact on the employee.
- Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers in Alabama are required to provide 60-day advanced notice to any employees that may be impacted by a business closing or mass layoff if 50 or more employees will be impacted.
- If Alabama employers provide employees health insurance benefits, they must comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) that provides health coverage protections to employees under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
- Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must provide applicants and employees prior notice before conducting background checks involving credit reports. Other rules and limitation may also apply.