Minnesota Minimum Wage: Minimum Wage in Minnesota for 2024

April 10, 2024

Are you feeling the pressure of the recent changes in the Minnesota minimum wage? 

As of January 2024, the state has implemented new wage requirements that could significantly impact your operating costs and profitability. Whether you're managing a bustling downtown Minneapolis sushi bar or a cozy boba café in a quiet St. Paul suburb, understanding the updated wage standards is crucial for your business's compliance and financial planning.

How will these changes affect your bottom line, and what strategies can you employ to adapt effectively?

What is the Minimum Wage in Minnesota?

Starting January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Minnesota has seen crucial adjustments to match inflation, ensuring employees' wages reflect the rising living costs. Here's what you need to know:

  • Large Employers: If your annual gross revenues are $500,000 or more, you must pay the new minimum wage of $10.85 per hour.

  • Small Employers: For those with gross revenues below $500,000, you must pay a minimum wage of $8.85 per hour.

  • Training Wage: New employees aged under 20 years can be paid a training wage of $8.85 per hour during their first 90 days of employment.

  • Youth Wage: Workers under 18 are also entitled to a minimum wage of $8.85 per hour.

  • City Specific Rates: It’s important to note that cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul have higher minimum wage rates, which prevail over the state minimum.

These adjustments are designed to help wages keep up with inflation and apply to both full-time and part-time employees across various industries, including restaurants.

Who Qualifies for Minimum Wage?

Under Minnesota's minimum wage law, the following individuals are covered:

  • Full-time and part-time employees

  • Workers paid hourly, by commission, salary, or piece rates

  • Employees earning tips must still receive the minimum wage for all hours worked

"Hours worked" encompasses training, waiting time, short rest periods (under 20 minutes), and any other time the employees are required to be at work.

Minnesota Minimum Wage Exemptions

Not every type of worker falls under Minnesota's minimum wage laws. Specific exemptions are defined under Minnesota Statutes §177.23, subd. 7, outlining those not covered by these wage requirements. For instance:

  • Certain agricultural employees who are paid a salary and work on a small scale or perform specific tasks beyond standard hourly work.

  • Individuals employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, as well as some salespersons

  • Young workers engaged in particular jobs like corn detasseling, or those working under special municipal recreational programs.

  • Employees of certain seasonal organizations, such as camps, or those involved in temporary event-based services like fairs or carnivals

  • Workers in specific roles defined by federal standards or regulations, including seafarers and employees involved in transportation under federal law

These exemptions cater to unique employment situations where the standard minimum wage provisions may not apply.

Minnesota Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

In Minnesota, the rules governing tipped employees are clear and designed to protect workers. Employers cannot use tips to count towards meeting the minimum wage requirements. Here are the key points:

  • Employees must be paid the minimum wage ($10.85 or $8.85 per hour, depending on employer size) on top of any tips they earn.

  • Tips received by an employee are solely theirs. Employers cannot require tips to be shared with the company or among employees, although pooling tips among staff during a shift or event like a banquet is permitted if all involved employees agree.

  • For tips made on credit cards, employers may deduct the exact percentage the credit card company charges as a processing fee from the tip, but no more.

This ensures that tips add to the employees' earnings and are not a substitute for their rightful wages.

How Tip Credit Works

While Minnesota does not allow for a tip credit, it's beneficial to understand how it works in other states. In states that do allow a tip credit, employers can pay tipped employees a lower direct wage, provided that tips bring their earnings up to at least the full state minimum wage. Even though it's not applicable in Minnesota, knowing about this practice is useful for understanding broader wage regulations, especially if you operate in multiple states.

Overtime Pay in Minnesota

Understanding your responsibilities regarding overtime pay is crucial for compliance and financial planning. Let’s delve into what federal and Minnesota state laws say about overtime.

Federal Overtime Pay Regulations

Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, specific types of employers are mandated to pay overtime at a rate of 1.5 times the regular pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. This rule applies to:

  • Businesses involved in interstate commerce.

  • Companies with annual gross receipts exceeding $500,000.

  • Hospitals, nursing homes, PCA and CFSS agencies, and educational institutions, as well as governmental bodies at various levels.

Minnesota Overtime Pay Regulations

The Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act sets its own criteria, requiring overtime pay for hours worked beyond 48 in a week. Overtime compensation must be no less than one and a half times the employee’s regular rate. This rate is determined by dividing the total weekly pay by the total hours worked. Importantly, only actual hours worked count towards overtime; holidays, vacation days, and sick leave do not.

Who is Eligible for Overtime?

Most hourly employees in Minnesota, including those in the restaurant industry, are eligible for overtime pay. However, there are exceptions for certain types of workers, such as those in managerial or supervisory roles, who may not qualify for overtime under specific conditions.

Exemptions from Overtime

Exemptions from overtime include specific job categories such as executives, administrators, professionals, and outside salespeople, provided they meet certain criteria regarding their job duties and salary levels. Understanding these exemptions can help you determine staffing and scheduling more effectively to manage labor costs.

Local/City Minimum Wages in Minnesota

While the state sets a wage baseline, some cities in Minnesota have enacted minimum wage laws that surpass the state minimum. For instance, Minneapolis and St. Paul have implemented higher wage rates depending on the business size. It’s crucial to verify the local wage requirements for each location your restaurant operates in to ensure compliance.

Here's a breakdown of the current and anticipated minimum wages in Minneapolis and St. Paul:


  • Small Business (100 or Fewer Employees): The current wage is $14.50, which will increase to $15.57 on July 1, 2024.

  • Large Business (More than 100 Employees): The current rate is $15.57, with future increases to be determined.

Saint Paul

  • Micro Businesses (5 or fewer employees): The wage rose to $11.50 as of July 1, 2023, and is expected to climb to $12.25 by July 1, 2024.

  • Small Businesses (6 - 100 employees): Increased to $13.00 on July 1, 2023, with an anticipated raise to $14.00 on July 1, 2024.

  • Large Businesses (101 - 10,000 employees): The current rate is $15.00, with a rise to $15.57 slated for July 1, 2024.

  • Macro Businesses (More than 10,000 employees): It has been at $15.57 since January 1, 2024, with subsequent adjustments yet to be determined.

Understanding and adapting to these changes is vital for your restaurant's compliance and financial planning. Stay updated with local regulations to ensure your business operates smoothly and remains profitable.

Minnesota State Minimum Wage vs Federal Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage, established by the Fair Labor Standards Act, stands at $7.25 per hour for nonexempt workers and has been unchanged since July 24, 2009. For tipped employees, the base rate is $2.13 per hour, but total earnings must meet the federal minimum standard of $7.25 per hour; otherwise, you must cover the difference.

However, Minnesota's state minimum wage is higher than the federal rate, and in cases where different laws overlap, the higher wage prevails. This means you must adhere to the Minnesota state guidelines unless local city laws mandate higher pay.

Historical Minimum Wage Rates in Minnesota

Looking back over the past decade, the minimum wage in Minnesota has incrementally increased to keep up with economic factors. Here’s a brief history from 2014 through 2024:

2014: $8.00

2015: $9.00

2016: $9.50

2017: $9.50

2018: $9.65

2019: $9.86

2020: $10.00

2021: $10.08

2022: $10.33

2023: $10.59

2024: $10.85

This timeline reflects a steady wage climb, demonstrating the state’s commitment to adjusting pay based on economic conditions.

Source: Labor Law Center

How is the Minnesota Minimum Wage Set?

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry determines the minimum wage in Minnesota. The state follows a structured process to adjust wages in accordance with inflation. Every year, the minimum wage is set to increase on January 1st, based on inflation rates, which ensures that wage adjustments are timely and reflect economic conditions.

Minnesota Workplace Notices and Poster Requirements

Minnesota mandates that certain notices and posters be displayed prominently within your workplace to keep your team informed about their rights and your responsibilities as an employer. Here’s what you need to know:

Required Notices

  • Earned Sick and Safe Time: Must be provided to employees by January 1, 2024, or at the start of employment if later. Include this notice in your employee handbook, available in English and the employee's primary language.

  • Employee Wage Notice: This is required at the start of employment. 

  • Nursing Mothers and Pregnancy Accommodations: These are available in English and the primary language of the employee at the time of hire or upon request for parental leave.

  • Migrant Agricultural Worker Employment Statement: Provided at the time of recruitment in English, Spanish, or the worker’s preferred language.

  • Safe Workplaces for Meat and Poultry Processing Workers: This information is provided annually in the worker’s language of fluency.

  • Packinghouse Workers Bill of Rights: Given at the start of employment in the employee’s native language

  • Recruited Meatpacking and Poultry Processing Worker Disclosure: This information must be provided at recruitment in English and Spanish or the worker’s preferred language.

Required Posters

  • Minimum Wage Rates: Update your display with the latest rates as of October 2023.

  • Safety and Health Protections on the Job: Ensure this is visible in your workplace, helping to maintain compliance and safety standards.

  • Workers' Compensation and Age Discrimination: These must be visible to all employees to meet state requirements.

Getting Posters

The state’s website offers posters that can be downloaded or ordered by email, ensuring easy access to the required information.

This comprehensive overview helps ensure that your restaurant complies with state laws while providing all employees with a fair and safe working environment. Stay informed and proactive in managing your business in light of these important legal updates.

The Impact of the Recent Minimum Wage Increase on Your Business

The recent adjustment to the Minnesota minimum wage has undoubtedly affected your bottom line. While the immediate effect may be seen as an increase in your expenses, this change also presents several opportunities for your business. Firstly, higher wages can significantly reduce employee turnover. When employees earn more, they are generally more satisfied and committed to their roles, leading to lower turnover rates. This not only saves you money on recruitment and training but also ensures you maintain a skilled and experienced workforce.

Additionally, paying employees more can boost morale and productivity. A happier workforce is more likely to provide better service, improving customer satisfaction and potentially increasing customer loyalty. Together, these factors can enhance the overall customer experience in your restaurant, setting you apart in a competitive market.

Strategies for Restaurant Businesses to Adapt to the Recent Minimum Wage Increase

The recent increase in the minimum wage in Minnesota presents both challenges and opportunities for restaurant owners. Adapting effectively is essential for maintaining profitability. Here are some strategies and technologies you can deploy to enhance operational efficiency and manage labor costs more effectively:

1. Optimizing Workforce Efficiency

Carefully analyze your staffing requirements and adjust schedules to match peak and off-peak hours. This ensures that you are not overstaffed during slow periods and understaffed during busy times, helping to control labor costs while meeting service demands.

2. Revising Menu Prices

Evaluate your menu prices periodically. A slight price increase can help absorb higher wage costs without compromising customer satisfaction. Ensure that the quality of food justifies the price increase.

3. Leveraging Technology for Better Productivity

Incorporating technology can significantly boost your restaurant's efficiency and reduce dependence on labor, which is crucial with rising wage costs. Consider these tools:

By integrating these technologies, your restaurant can not only adapt to the increase in minimum wage but also position itself for future growth and enhanced customer satisfaction.


As you adjust to the new Minnesota minimum wage rates, it's essential to consider how these changes can positively impact your restaurant's operations and employee satisfaction. While the immediate challenge may be the increased wage bill, the long-term benefits include potentially lower employee turnover and higher productivity. These factors contribute significantly to enhanced customer service and satisfaction, which are critical in a competitive market. To help you manage these changes efficiently, consider exploring advanced technological solutions.

If you're looking to streamline your operations and effectively manage increased labor costs, why not book a free demo or consultation with Chowbus POS? Our all-in-one restaurant POS solution is designed to optimize your operational efficiency and increase your revenue. Let us show you how to save over $8,000 monthly in labor expenses and boost your business growth by 25%. Act now to transform your restaurant management approach and thrive despite wage increases.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Minimum Wage in Minnesota

Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about Minnesota's minimum wage policies, including details on wage rates, living wages, and typical hourly earnings in the state. Discover how these financial standards apply to workers across Minnesota.

Does Minnesota Have a $15 Minimum Wage?

No, Minnesota does not currently have a statewide $15 minimum wage. However, a proposal that could increase the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour by August 1st is moving forward in the state Senate. If approved, it would subsequently rise by $1.25 annually until reaching $20 in 2028. Presently, the minimum wage is set at $10.85 for large employers and $8.85 for smaller ones. Cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul already have a $15 minimum wage in place.

What is a Livable Wage in MN?

In Minnesota, the living wage varies based on household size and composition. For a single adult without children, it is $21.45 per hour. This rate increases significantly with the addition of children, reaching up to $70.76 per hour for a single adult supporting three children. For two adults working with one working adult, the necessary living wage ranges from $30.24 for no children to $44.30 for three children. If both adults in a two-adult household are working, each needs to earn between $15.12 and $34.68 per hour, depending on the number of children. These figures are calculated based on full-time work of 2080 hours per year, and they aim to cover basic needs such as food, child care, medical, housing, and transportation, according to MIT Living Wage Calculator.

Is 30 an Hour Good in Minnesota?

Yes, $30 an hour is a good wage in Minnesota. The state's average hourly wage as of March 2024 is $24.89, making it $30 higher than average. Keep in mind, though, that living costs can differ across various parts of Minnesota. Always assess your own expenses and financial aims when considering a wage.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided regarding the Minnesota minimum wage for 2024 is intended to serve as a general guide and is not exhaustive. While efforts are made to ensure accuracy and timeliness, changes to local or state laws may occur after the date of publication. Please verify the current minimum wage in Minnesota for both large and small employers and comply with any city-specific rates that may apply to your operations. For precise guidance and compliance strategies, consider consulting with a legal or financial expert. This disclaimer does not substitute for professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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