- Minimum wage
- Tip minimum wage
- Tip Pooling and Sharing
- Subminimum wage
- Delaware Minimum Wage Laws 2022 FAQs
- Other State’s Minimum Wage Information
Delaware’s current minimum wage is $10.50. DE Statute 19-902; Delaware Division of Industrial Affairs: Minimum Wage
Delaware’s minimum wage will increase in future years as follows:
- January 1, 2023 – $11.75
- January 1, 2024 – $13.25
- January 1, 2025 – $15.00
By law, if the federal minimum wage set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act increases to be greater than the minimum wage set by Delaware minimum wage laws, Delaware’s minimum wage will automatically increase to match the federal rate. DE Statutes 19-902(a)
Delaware employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, which currently sets the federal minimum wage at $7.25. See FLSA: Minimum Wage.
Tip minimum wage
Delaware’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.23.
Employers are allowed to pay employees the tipped minimum wage if the employees work in occupations where they customarily earn gratuities.
An occupation qualifies as customarily earning gratuities where gratuities are customarily earned if the employees engaged in the occupation customarily and regularly receive gratuities or tips in excess of $30 per month.
Gratuities are defined as monetary contributions voluntarily given to employees by customers for services provided by the employees.
Customers are free to decide if they will reward the employees for their service and, if so, the amount they will give.
DE Statute 19-902(c)(2)
When paid, gratuities are the sole property of the employee directly providing the service and may not be retained by the employer except as required by state or federal law.
Service charges are not gratuities or tips. They are defined as sums of money customers are required to pay for services provided. Unlike tips, employers may retain services charges. However, the employer must provide clear and conspicuous notice to customers that it is doing so.
The notice may be placed in the menu, a placard, front of the bill, or another clear and conspicuous location.
The notice must be clearly printed, stamped, or written in bold type and inform customers that all or part of the service charge is the property of management.Text on placards must be 18 points (1/4 inch) or larger. The text on all other forms of notice must be 10 points (1/8 inch) or larger. If the employer fails to provide proper notice, the service charges become the property of the employees that provided the service. DE Statute 19-902(c)(4)
Tip Pooling and Sharing
Employees may voluntarily agree to participate in a tip pooling arrangement and an employer cannot coerce employees to do so. When more than one employee provides direct service to a customer, the employer may require the employees to establish a tip pooling or sharing system not to exceed 15% of the primary direct service employee’s gratuities. Employers are prohibited from taking any portion of an employee’s gratuities or tips. 19 DE Statute 19-902(d)(2)
Employees with disabilities
Until October 20, 2024, employers may pay employees with disabilities a wage less than the minimum wage if they have received approval from Delaware’s Department of Labor. DE Statute 19-905; DE Admin. Code 1102 The wage cannot be less than 75% of the minimum wage unless the Department of Labor determines a lower rate is justified. DE Admin. Code 19-1102(8.3)
If an employer pays non-disabled employees by piece rate, it must pay disabled employees working in the same occupation at least the same piece rate or the rate certified by the Department of Labor, whichever is more. DE Admin. Code 19-1102(8.4)
An employer may obtain a certificate of approval from the Department of Labor by filing an application that contains a detailed description of the nature of the employee’s disability, a description of the work that will be performed, and the proposed wage rate to be paid. DE Admin. Code 19-1102(3.0)
The Department of Labor sets the period of time the certificate is effective and employers can seek renewal of the certificate by submitting a new application. DE Admin. Code 19-1102(8.2), (9.0)
Beginning October 21, 2024, Delaware will not allow employers to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage and instead will require employers to pay employees with disabilities the state’s standard minimum wage for all hours worked. DE Statute 19-905
Beginning December 29, 2021, Delaware does not allow employers to pay trainees a subminimum wage and instead requires employers to pay trainees the state’s standard minimum wage for all hours worked. DE Statutes 19-902(e)
Delaware does not allow employers to pay apprentices a wage lower than the standard minimum wage. DE Admin. Code 19-1101(6.2.7), (6.2.8)
Delaware minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay learners less than the standard minimum wage. Employers must pay trainees the standard minimum wage rate unless otherwise exempt.
Delaware minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student learners less than the standard minimum wage. Employers must pay trainees the standard minimum wage rate unless otherwise exempt.
Delaware minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student workers less than the standard minimum wage. Employers must pay trainees the standard minimum wage rate unless otherwise exempt.
Delaware Minimum Wage Laws 2022 FAQs
Is there an expected minimum wage increase in Delaware in 2022?
Yes, and it already happened last January 1, 2022. This is part of a series of minimum wage increases thanks to the bill signed by Gov. John Carney last July 2021.
The current minimum wage in Delaware is $10.50. The objective is for this gradual increase of hourly wages to reach $15.05 by 2025.
We highly recommend staying on top of these hourly wage increase updates. In this way, you’re sure to provide the legal wage required and prevent any costly legal damages that might result from it.
Keep in mind that these increases are not intended to add financial pressure, especially to small business owners. Instead, it seeks to provide a living wage that won’t only give hourly employees more purchasing power but ultimately improve their financial confidence and quality of life.
Does Delaware follow the federal minimum wage?
It did, but this changed when Delaware’s minimum wage raise surpassed the federal rate in 2014. It is one of the many states that had already established their state minimum wage rate. There are currently only five remaining states that continue to follow the federal hourly rate.
How should a small business owner best prepare for a minimum wage increase?
One of the most efficient steps is to minimize unnecessary expenses. For instance, there are a lot of businesses (even big companies) that tend to overlook the costliness of a high employee turnover rate.
Aside from hiring expenses, onboarding, and training, it will also take a while for new employees to catch up to the level of productivity that experienced workers have.
Therefore, it is essential for any business, regardless of its industry or scale, to have plans for employee growth, especially for those they consider to be valuable employees.