Wisconsin Minimum Wage Laws – 2022


Minimum Wage

Wisconsin’s current minimum wage is $7.25.

WI Admin. Code 272.03

Wisconsin employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, which currently sets the federal minimum wage at $7.25.

For more information, see FLSA: Minimum Wage.

Suppose an employer chooses to pay employees minimum wage. In that case, the employer must pay those employees in accordance with the minimum wage law, either federal or state, that results in the employees being paid the higher wage.


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Tip Minimum Wage

Wisconsin’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.33, except for opportunity employees (trainees) who may be paid $2.13.

WI Admin. Rules 272.03(2)

Tips are defined as the amount of money a customer gives as a gift or gratuity to an employee in recognition of services performed. Service charges are not tips.

Tips are distinguishable from service charges in that customers are solely responsible for deciding whether they will give a tip, how much it will be, and who will receive it. Tips are the property of the employee who receives them.

Service charges, on the other hand, are compulsory and the amount is fixed or negotiated by the employer. They may not be counted as tips unless they are distributed to employees.

Special gifts from customers, such as tickets, merchandise, or passes, are not tips.

Employers may only pay the tipped minimum wage to tipped employees.

A tipped employee is an employee who is engaged in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives tips from customers.

Employees customarily and regularly receive tips if they receive them more often than occasionally, but may be less than constant. 

Employees working in occupations where it is known that they consistently and regularly receive tips qualify as tipped employees. Such occupations include waiters, waitresses, bellhops, taxicab drivers, barbers, or beauty operators.

If an employer chooses to pay the tipped minimum wage, it must also ensure that the tipped employees receive the standard minimum wage when tipped wages earned are combined with tips received.

If a tipped employee is not paid the standard minimum wage when tipped wages earned are combined with tips received, the employer must pay the employee the difference. The difference between the tipped minimum wage and the standard minimum wage is referred to as a tip credit.

Additionally, it is the employer’s responsibility to have tipped employees sign a tip declaration each pay period and to maintain payroll records to verify that tipped employees were paid the standard minimum wage.

WI Admin. Rules 272.03(2)(b)


Tip Pooling and Sharing

Wisconsin minimum wage laws do not allow employers to require tipped employees to participate in tip pooling or tips sharing arrangements.

WI Admin. Rules 272.03(2)(e)(4)

Employees may voluntarily agree to participate in tip pooling and sharing arrangements and may rely on the employer to redistribute tips to participating employees in accordance with the arrangement.

After redistribution of pooled tips, employers may only credit employees with the tips received after redistribution.

WI Admin. Rules 272.03(2)(d), (e)(4)


Subminimum wage

Employees with Disabilities

Wisconsin minimum wage law allows employers to pay employees with disabilities a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage if they are issued a special certificate to do so from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. 

The special certificate will specify the wage rate to be paid to the employee and the period of time for which it may be paid.

When determining whether to issue a special certificate, the Department of Workforce Development considers the following criteria:

  • the nature and extent of the employee’s disabilities relate to the employee’s productivity.
  • the wages of experienced non-disabled employees in the vicinity of the same industry performing comparable work under consideration.
  • the productivity of a worker with a disability compared to the productivity established for nondisabled employees through the use of verifiable work measurement methods, or the productivity of experienced nondisabled employees working in the vicinity on comparable work.
  • the wage rates to be paid to a worker with a disability for work comparable to that performed by experienced non-disabled employees.

When seeking a license authorizing special minimum wage rates for workers with disabilities, employers must agree to the following written assurances:

  • in the case of employees paid at hourly rates, they will review the special minimum wage rates at periodic intervals with a minimum interval of once every 6 months.
  • the employer will adjust wages for all employees at periodic intervals, with a minimum interval of once each year, to reflect changes in the prevailing wages paid to experienced nondisabled employees employed in the locality for comparable work.

WI Admin. Rules 272.09


Trainees

Wisconsin minimum wage laws allow employers to pay opportunity employees (trainees) a subminimum wage of $5.90.

An opportunity employee is an employee under the age of 20 working within the first 90 consecutive days after initially being hired by an employer.

Opportunity employees may also be paid a tipped minimum wage of $2.13.

WI Admin. Rules 272.03(2)(am)


Apprentices

Wisconsin minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay apprentices a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage. WI Admin. Rules 272.02


Learners

Wisconsin minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay learners a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage. WI Admin. Rules 272.02


Student Learners

Wisconsin minimum wage laws allow employers to pay student learners a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage if they are issued a special certificate to do so from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

A student learner is a student who receives instruction at an accredited school and who is working part-time pursuant to a bona fide school training program.

A bona fide school training program is authorized by the Department of Public Instruction, the Technical College System Board, or other recognized education bodies. It provides part-time employment training supplemented by an organized instruction plan and where the school gives proper scholastic credit.


Student Workers

Wisconsin minimum wage laws do not allow employers to pay student workers a subminimum wage rate that is less than the standard minimum wage unless they qualify as a student learner as discussed above.


Wisconsin Minimum Wage Laws 2022 FAQs

Will there be a minimum wage increase in Wisconsin in 2022?

While there are active initiatives to increase Wisconsin’s minimum wage rate, there aren’t going to be any changes in the hourly wage in the state anytime soon. At least for 2022, Wisconsin’s base wage will remain at $7.25 per hour following the federal minimum wage. 

Will there be further minimum wage increases in Wisconsin beyond 2022?

As mentioned above, there are currently no wage increases slated for this year. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that recent reports suggest that most Wisconsin residents support the base hourly rate to get raised.

Thus, it would be wise for any business owner to stay on top of compliance updates, not only for any changes on the minimum rates but also to make sure that the company will continue to abide by the minimum wage rules.

Fortunately, some platforms provide a newsletter for business owners dedicated explicitly to the current minimum wage ordinance and any possible adjustments.

Why is it important for Wisconsin to have a minimum wage increase?

Minimum wage rate changes will not only impact the current state economy but will also address other labor-related issues. For instance, any increase will significantly help black workers and Hispanic workers since over half of these demographics will definitely experience a raise.37% of women workers will also start earning more. It can significantly change the state’s labor landscape while raising the quality of life of Wisconsin workers.


Other State’s Minimum Wage Information

AlabamaHawaiiMassachusettsNew MexicoSouth Dakota
AlaskaIdahoMichiganNew YorkTennessee
ArizonaIllinoisMinnesotaNorth CarolinaTexas
ArkansasIndianaMississippiNorth DakotaUtah
CaliforniaIowaMissouriOhioVermont
ColoradoKansasMontanaOklahomaVirginia
ConnecticutKentuckyNebraskaOregonWashington
DelawareLouisianaNevadaPennsylvaniaWest Virginia
District of ColumbiaMaineNew HampshireRhode IslandWisconsin
FloridaMarylandNew JerseySouth CarolinaWyoming
Georgia

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Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

THANK YOU FOR SUBSCRIBING!

We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.