Texas Minimum Wage: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

July 26, 2023

Ever wondered about the minimum wage in Texas and how it affects your business? We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Texas minimum wage laws, exemptions, and even how to prepare for potential wage increases. Stay tuned to learn how you can offer competitive wages while optimizing your restaurant's profits. Let’s dive in!

What is the Minimum Wage in Texas?

The minimum wage represents the lowest amount an employer can legally pay their employees for an hour of work. In Texas, the minimum wage as of 2023 is $7.25 per hour, aligning with the federal minimum wage rate that has remained consistent since July 24, 2009. This places Texas as the 47th state in terms of minimum wage in the United States.

Texas follows the federal minimum wage law, allowing for certain provisions:

  • Collective Bargaining: The Texas Minimum Wage Act permits employees to engage in collective bargaining with employers to negotiate higher wages.

  • Tip Credit: Employers are allowed to include tips and the value of provided meals and lodging when calculating whether the minimum wage requirement is met.

  • On-Call Time: Employers are not obligated to pay employees residing on business premises for on-call time, provided it falls within their regular working hours.

  • Exceptions: Under specific circumstances, employers may pay wages below the minimum to individuals such as patients or clients of the Texas Department of State Health Services, considering factors like age or productivity impairments. Detailed information can be found in Chapter 62 of the Texas Labor Code.

For further details and updates, refer to the Texas Minimum Wage regulated by the Labor Law Center.

Texas State vs. Federal Minimum Wage

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that connects the state minimum wage and federal minimum wage by establishing specific labor standards and protections for employees in the United States. Through the FLSA, the federal minimum wage is set, and states are given the choice to either adopt the federal minimum wage or establish a higher minimum wage that applies exclusively within their state borders.

Some states have implemented higher minimum wages to address the cost of living and other economic factors specific to their region, such as Seattle and NY. However, as of 2023, Texas has not adopted a state-specific minimum wage and continues to follow the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

Texas Minimum Wage Law

The Texas Minimum Wage Law, a crucial state legislation, mandates the minimum compensation for employees across various sectors. This law, enforced by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), applies to all employers in Texas, excluding specific categories such as agricultural workers and those covered by special wage orders.

Key Provisions of the Texas Minimum Wage Law:

  • Minimum Wage Rate: As previously stated, the minimum wage rate in Texas is $7.25 per hour, ensuring a basic income level for employees.

  • Exemptions: Certain employers, notably those in agriculture and specific wage order categories, are exempt from the standard minimum wage law. However, the vast majority of Texan businesses must adhere to this regulation.

  • Tipped Employees: Tipped employees have a unique arrangement. They can be paid a lower base wage, provided their tips supplement their earnings, ensuring they reach the minimum wage threshold.

  • Enforcement: The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) diligently enforces the Texas Minimum Wage Law. Employees who suspect they have been paid below the minimum wage can file a complaint with the TWC, initiating an investigation into the matter.

Texas Minimum Wage Exemptions

The Texas Minimum Wage Act provides certain exemptions, aligning with the federal guidelines established by FLSA. Here are the key exemptions you need to be aware of:

  • Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Anyone covered by the FLSA is exempt from the Texas Minimum Wage Act.

  • Specific Occupational Exemptions: Certain professions, such as professionals, salespersons, public officials, and certain students, fall under exemptions. It's essential to verify the eligibility of employees falling under these categories.

  • Nonprofit Organizations: Employees working for religious, educational, charitable, or nonprofit organizations are exempt from the minimum wage requirement.

  • Domestic Workers: Individuals employed as domestic workers, like housekeepers or caregivers, are exempt from the minimum wage regulations.

  • Youths and Students: There are specific exemptions for young workers and students, allowing flexibility in their wages under certain conditions.

  • Family Members: Employees who are immediate family members of the employer and reside in the employer’s home are exempt from the minimum wage regulations.

  • Amusement and Recreational Establishments: Certain employees in amusement and recreational establishments are exempt from the minimum wage requirements.

  • Non-Agricultural Employers Not Liable for State Unemployment Contributions: Non-agricultural employers not liable for state unemployment contributions are also exempt.

  • Dairying and Livestock Production: Employees involved in the production of livestock and dairying have specific exemptions related to minimum wage.

  • Sheltered Workshops: Employees in sheltered workshops designed to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities have exemptions under the Texas Minimum Wage Act.

Understanding these exemptions is crucial for employers to ensure compliance with the law while hiring and paying employees.

Texas Overtime Minimum Wage

The Texas overtime minimum wage in 2023 is $10.88 per hour. This is one and a half times the regular Texas minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), all non-exempt employees must be paid overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek. Overtime pay is calculated at a rate of one and a half times the employee's regular hourly rate.

Here’s an example of how to calculate overtime pay in Texas:

Regular Hourly Wage: $7.25

Overtime Hourly Wage: $10.88 (1.5 times the regular wage)

If an employee works 45 hours in a week, the calculation for overtime pay would be as follows:

Regular Pay (40 hours x $7.25): $290

Overtime Pay (5 hours x $10.88): $54.40

Total Weekly Pay: $344.40

Under the FLSA, all employees working in Texas are guaranteed adequate overtime compensation for all qualifying overtime hours worked. If an employer refuses to pay the right overtime wages, an employee can file an unpaid overtime claim with the Texas Department of Labor.

Texas Minimum Wage and Labor Law Posters

Texas employers are required to display posters in the workplace that inform employees of their rights under the Texas Minimum Wage Act and other labor laws. These posters must be displayed in a conspicuous place where they are likely to be seen by employees.

The following posters are required to be displayed in workplaces in Texas:

1. Texas Payday and Unemployment Compensation Posters

  • Texas Payday Law Poster: Employers subject to the Texas Payday law must prominently display this poster.

  • Unemployment Compensation Act Poster: Applicable to employers liable under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, this poster combines both Payday and Unemployment laws.

2. Equal Employment Opportunity Poster

  • Employers with 15 or more employees must display this poster, emphasizing equal opportunities for all.

3. Worker's Compensation Posters

  • Employer's Notice of Ombudsman Program: A mandatory poster for employers with workers' compensation insurance coverage, highlighting the Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC) Ombudsman Program.

  • Notice Regarding Certain Work-Related Communicable Diseases: Essential for employers of specific public service roles, detailing exposure to communicable diseases and workers' compensation benefits.

  • Required Workers' Compensation Coverage: Government employers must adhere to this requirement for certain projects.

4. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Poster

  • Employers must inform employees about the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, ensuring compliance with IRS regulations.

5. Federally Required Posters

  • The U.S. Department of Labor mandates certain posters, providing vital information for employers on federal requirements.

Additional Posters for Public Employers

  • Various posters, such as the Whistleblower Act notice and Worker Right to Know Notice, are essential for public employers, safeguarding employees' rights and safety.

Optional Posters

  • Information on Equal Employment Opportunity laws and Child Labor laws in Texas, along with guidelines for filing a wage claim under the Texas Payday Law, is available for employers seeking comprehensive resources.

How Should Restaurant Business Owners Prepare for a Potential Texas Minimum Wage Increase?

Anticipating potential changes in the Texas minimum wage in 2023 is a prudent strategy for restaurant business owners. While the current rate is $7.25 per hour, legislative changes can impact this figure. To prepare for a potential increase, consider the following steps:

1. Audit your expenses and create a budget. This will help you understand your current financial situation and how much money you have to work with. You'll also need to create a budget that takes into account the increased labor costs.

2. Analyze your sales data. This will help you identify areas where you can increase revenue. For example, you may want to consider offering new menu items, running promotions, or expanding your delivery and takeout services.

3. Review your staffing levels and schedules. You may need to adjust your staffing levels or schedules to accommodate the increased labor costs. For example, you may need to hire more employees or reduce the number of hours that employees work.

4. Consider raising prices. This is a way to offset the increased labor costs. However, it's important to be mindful of your competition and make sure that your prices are still competitive.

5. Invest in technology. echnology can help you automate tasks and reduce labor costs. For example, you could invest in a point-of-sale system that can take orders and process payments or a self-service kiosk that allows customers to place their own orders.

6. Improve your efficiency. Look for ways to improve the efficiency of your operations. For example, you could streamline your kitchen workflow or train your employees on more efficient ways to work.

7. Communicate with your employees. It's important to communicate with your employees about the upcoming minimum wage increase and how it will affect them. This will help to reduce stress and anxiety among your team.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Plan ahead. Don't wait until the last minute to make changes to your business. The earlier you start planning, the more prepared you'll be.

  • Be flexible. Things don't always go according to plan. Be prepared to make adjustments as needed.

  • Get creative. There are many ways to save money and offset the increased labor costs. Be creative and think outside the box.

By taking these steps, Texas restaurant business owners can prepare for a potential minimum wage increase and minimize the impact on their businesses.

Top Tips to Offer Competitive Wages in Texas

Restaurant profit margins can be tight, making it challenging to offer competitive wages. However, there is a viable solution: focusing on improving gratuity. This approach creates a win-win situation for all parties involved, including restaurant owners, customers, and the dedicated staff. Here are some ways how!

1. Optimize how your hosts and hostesses operate: This tip is #1 because a big gratuity starts at the door! Rockstar hosts can set the stage for a big tip for the rest of the staff. Don’t cut corners on this position at your restaurant.

2. Faster Service with Tableside POS Service: Handheld tablets and tableside POS systems are a game-changer for your restaurant! They increase overall sales, speed up guest service, and create convenience for guests. Your staff will undoubtedly benefit from higher tips as a result.

3. Faster Operations = More Tips: Achieving a swift table turnover rate, ideally within 45 minutes per guest, will result in substantial tip pools for your staff every night! The equation is straightforward – the more customers you serve, the higher your potential tips!

4. Increase Your Average Bill Size: Train your staff to upsell effectively and increase the bill by 10%. This skillful approach will lead to 10% higher tips!

Increase Margins All-Around

By improving margins, you create a chance to offer more competitive compensation in the restaurant industry. This, in turn, attracts top-notch staff who tend to stay longer (though exceptions do exist!). Take a look at these valuable tips to boost your margins:

1. Menu Optimization: Analyze your menu to identify high-profit and low-profit items. Focus on promoting and upselling dishes with higher profit margins. Consider removing or reworking items that are not performing well financially. Additionally, manage portion sizes and ingredient costs to ensure optimal profitability without compromising quality.

2. Operational Efficiency: Streamline your restaurant's operations to reduce waste, control labor costs, and enhance overall efficiency. Train your staff to work effectively and avoid unnecessary expenses. Efficient inventory management and supplier negotiation can also help in lowering food costs and maximizing profitability.

3. Restaurant POS Systems: Embrace technology solutions that can optimize your restaurant's operations. Implement a modern POS (Point of Sale) system that enables detailed tracking of sales, inventory, and customer data. A well-integrated POS can help identify trends, manage inventory better, and improve overall decision-making.

Exploring avenues to increase your profit margins can create room for competitive wages. Conduct a thorough analysis of your business operations to identify areas where cost efficiencies can be achieved. Implementing streamlined processes can lead to significant savings, allowing you to allocate more funds to employee compensation.

To learn more about POS systems and what might be the right fit for you, book a POS demo/consultation with Chowbus! We're the #1 POS tech system for US-based restaurants!


Understanding and adhering to the Texas minimum wage regulations are pivotal for the success and sustainability of your business. By staying informed, proactively adapting to potential changes, and prioritizing fair wages, you can foster a thriving work environment while ensuring compliance with state labor laws. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Minimum Wage in Texas

As restaurant and business owners, you likely have specific questions about Texas minimum wage laws. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding minimum wage in Texas:

Do Restaurants Have to Pay Minimum Wage in Texas?

Yes. Unlike most Texas employers who must pay the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, restaurants can take a "tip credit." This means they can pay tipped workers as little as $2.13 per hour, provided their tips increase their earnings to at least the minimum wage.

How Often Does the Minimum Wage in Texas Change?

The minimum wage in Texas does not change regularly; it is only increased when the Texas legislature passes a bill and the governor signs it into law. The last change was in 2009, raising it from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour. Currently, there are no pending bills to increase the minimum wage in Texas. However, there is a growing movement advocating for a raise, so future changes are possible.

Are All Employers in Texas Required to Pay the Minimum Wage?

No, not all employers in Texas must pay the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Exemptions include those covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, certain agricultural and domestic employers, specific youth and student workers, inmates, family members, amusement and recreational establishments, non-agricultural employers not liable for state unemployment contributions, as well as dairying and livestock production.

What is the Role of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in Enforcing Minimum Wage Laws?

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) plays a crucial role in enforcing the Texas Minimum Wage Act. It investigates employee complaints and conducts business inspections to ensure compliance. If a violation is found, TWC can order back wages, impose fines, or file criminal complaints against the employer. Additionally, TWC offers education and information about the Minimum Wage Act to both employers and employees.

Are There Any Plans to Increase the Minimum Wage in Texas in 2023?

Currently, there are no immediate plans to increase the minimum wage in Texas at the state level. However, it's crucial to monitor legislative updates, as changes could occur in response to economic shifts or political decisions.

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