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Minimum Wage and Overtime

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Minimum Wage and Overtime

The State statutes administered and enforced by the Labor Standards Division can be found in title 11 of the Arkansas Code. An online version of the Arkansas Code is on the General Assembly’s website.

NOTE: Arkansas voters passed a minimum wage increase in November 2018. To learn more, please read the Minimum Wage Facts. To read the Initiated Act, click here.

The State minimum wage is: $9.25 per hour effective January 1, 2019; $10.00 per hour effective January 1, 2020; $11.00 per hour effective January 1, 2021. The Arkansas Minimum Wage Act covers employers with 4 or more employees. Employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are also covered by the Arkansas law if they have 4 or more employees. An employer covered by both laws must pay the highest minimum wage. In most cases, an employer has to pay overtime (one and one-half times the regular rate of pay) to non-exempt employees for all hours actually worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. This means that you may work more than 8 hours in a day or work more than a regularly scheduled shift, and still not exceed 40 hours of actual work in a workweek. If your employer pays you for hours not actually worked, such as for a holiday or a sick day, then those hours do not count as hours actually worked for the purpose of state and federal overtime law.

Tipped Employees

Tipped employees must be paid at least $2.63 per hour. The tips they earn must be enough to bring them up to the applicable minimum wage per hour. If the tips do not bring them up to minimum wage, the employer must add enough to their pay to do so. It is the employer’s responsibility to keep accurate tip records.

Deductions from Minimum Wage

Non standard deductions are generally not allowed to bring the employee below minimum wage per hour for the workweek. These types of deductions including but not limited to the following: spoilage or breakage; cash or inventory shortages or losses; and fines or penalties for lateness, misconduct, or quitting by an employee without notice. Deductions that reduce the employee below the applicable minimum wage per hour that may be made include deductions that are court ordered, wage assignments to a third party, or deductions for board, lodging, apparel, or other items and services. It is important to note that these types of deductions can only be made in accordance with the statutes and rules of the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act.


In most instances, overtime must be paid for hours worked beyond forty in a work week. However, certain employees may be exempt from overtime. Click here to review some common exemptions. Please review the Administrative Rules Pertaining to the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act for additional information on overtime exemptions. Additionally, some employers, such as police, fire departments, hospitals, and residential care facilities may have special overtime provisions. Contact the Labor Standards Division at (501) 682-4599 or the U.S. Dept. of Labor (501) 223-9114 for further information.

Compensatory Time

Public agencies are the only employers that can award compensatory time off in lieu of paying required overtime.


If you believe you are not being paid minimum wage or overtime properly, you can file a complaint here. If you have having trouble collecting your final pay check please do not fill out a complaint form. Instead, refer to the wage claim section.

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