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Georgia Wage and Hour Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

The wages that an employer must pay their employees are dictated by state wage and hour laws. When an employer breaks a wage and hour law (including minimum wage laws and overtime laws), they have committed a wage and hour violation and can be punished through fines and penalties from the state.

Unlike many states, Georgia doesn't have a state agency that enforces wage and hour laws. However, Georgia employees may seek relief via civil litigation if their wage and hour rights were violated. For instance, they can file a private lawsuit if they're paid less than the minimum wage and can recover damages including past compensation, liquidated damages, attorney's fees and costs

Georgia Wage and Hour Laws at a Glance

Navigating through employment law issues can be difficult for most employees. The plain language chart below can help you break down Georgia wage and hour laws and better prepare you for meeting with an attorney about your situation.

Statutes

Georgia Code Title 34. Labor and Industrial Relations:

  • Section 34-4-3 (minimum wage)
  • Section 34-4-6 (civil actions for wages less than minimum wage)
  • Section 34-5-5 (employer's liability: unpaid wages)

 

Minimum Wage

 

The minimum wage in Georgia is $5.15.

Minimum Wage Exemptions

The minimum wage doesn't apply to employers who are subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act when the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay a minimum wage greater than Georgia's minimum wage.

Additionally, the following parties are exempt from the minimum wage:

  • Employers that have sales of $40,000 per year or less;
  • Employers that have 5 employees or less;
  • Employers of domestic employees;
  • Employers who are farm owners, sharecroppers, or land renters;
  • Employers whose compensation consists wholly or partially of gratuities;
  • Any employee who is a high school or college student;
  • Any individual who is employed as a newspaper carrier; or
  • Individuals who are employed by a non-profit caring institution or long-term care facility serving children or mentally disabled adults who meet specific circumstances detailed in the statute.

Overtime Pay

The governing law for overtime laws in Georgia is federal law because there are no Georgia labor laws that apply to overtime pay.

Any employee that works over 40 hours in a week, must be paid time and half of their regular pay rate.

Severance Pay

Georgia doesn't require employers to pay severance pay. However, if the employer has a policy or contract that provides severance, then the policy must be upheld.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Georgia Wage and Hour Laws: Related Resources

Discuss Georgia Wage and Hour Laws with an Attorney

If you haven't been paid the wages that you're owed and you think that your employer has violated Georgia's wage and hour laws, then you should talk to a legal professional. Contact a Georgia employment attorney who can help you gather evidence and get the wages you're entitled to under the law.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.