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Minimum Wage in Delaware in 2023

Last Updated on:

18 January 2023
Minimum Wage in Delaware

The minimum wage is the lowest amount of hourly compensation an employer is supposed to pay their employee. 

In some exceptional circumstances, some workers are exempted from minimum wage, and this varies from state to state. Otherwise, all states must adhere to the federal minimum wage of $7.25. But they are equally free to institute higher minimum wage rates. 

Due to changes in the economy and cost of living, many states are increasing their minimum wage to allow people to cater to their living expenses. 

Currently, the minimum wage in Delaware is $11.75 per hour, and it is set to increase steadily over the next two years, and by 2025, it will be $15.00. 

Read this article to learn everything about minimum wage in Delaware, including the weekly, overtime, tipped wages, and changes in the minimum wages over the past few years.

What is the Minimum Wage in Delaware?

Currently, in 2023, the minimum wage in Delaware is $11.75 per hour for most workers, which is more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The workers who also receive tips, such as those working in the service industry, are paid $2.23 per hour. The tips are accepted by employers or employees, and tip pooling is permitted in particular circumstances.

In December 2021, the state of Delaware scrapped training and youth wage and stipulated that youths between 14 and 17 years must be paid the state-mandated minimum wage.

Some workers are exempt from the state's minimum wage laws, including certain agricultural workers, babysitters, and learners or apprentices who are still in training. The state's minimum wage applies to all hours worked within Delaware's borders, regardless of whether the worker is a state resident or not. 

Delaware Weekly Minimum Wage

Full-time employees who work 40 hours per week must be paid at least $470 before taxes; this comes to an hourly rate of $11.75. And this rounds off to about $24,440 per annum, given that the employee works for 52 weeks throughout the year. 

Delaware Overtime Minimum Wage

In addition to the regular minimum wage, employees must be paid time-and-a-half (1.5) for hours over 40 in a given week.

For example, if an employee works more than 40 hours weekly, the extra hours are overtime. They must be paid at 1.5 times their standard hourly rate (if they make $11.75/hour, usually, they will make $17.63/hour for overtime).

Although many states indicate when workers should calculate overtime daily and the limit, Delaware does not have an overtime limit. The general rule is that every employee earning below $455 per week working in a non-exempt sector is entitled to overtime pay.

How is Delaware Minimum Wage Different from the Federal Minimum Wage?

The minimum wage in Delaware is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, meaning that Delaware minimum wage workers are entitled to earn an additional $4.50 per hour compared to workers in other states where the federal minimum wage applies. In addition, the state's overtime laws are more generous than the federal overtime laws. 

Local Minimum Wages in Delaware

Some cities and counties in Delaware have ordinances that set a local minimum wage, but not all of them apply as the state minimum wage is higher. 

For example, Newark had its own ordinance that requires all employers to pay their workers a minimum of $9.25 per hour starting July 1, 2019. But since the state minimum wage in Delaware is higher than the Newark local minimum wage, the state minimum wage will apply to employers and employees in the city. 

Who Qualifies for Minimum Wage in Delaware?

Most minimum wage workers within the state of Delaware are entitled to earn at least $10.50 per hour. But there are some exceptions. 

Minimum Wage Exemptions in Delaware  

  • Small businesses with less than 4 total employees (including family members) are exempted from paying minimum wage.
  • Agricultural Workers: Farmworkers employed by small farms (with annual gross sales of less than $500k) are exempt from both the regular and overtime provisions of the state's minimum wage law.
  • Babysitters: People who occasionally babysit children under 18 years old for neighbors or friends are exempt from the state's minimum wage law.
  • Employees of the United States Government.
  • Salespeople are paid on a commission basis.
  • Learners or Apprentices: People still undergo training in their chosen field (e.g., apprenticeship programs). They are paid less than the minimum wage as long as their training wages do not fall below $3.75 per hour.
  • Volunteer workers include those volunteering in educational, religious, and non-profit organizations.
  • Inmates who participate in correctional programs.
  • Counselors employed by nonprofits to offer their services during summer camp programs.
  • Fishermen: This includes those conducting the fishing and fish processing at sea.
  • Disabled people and students: Although they are eligible for minimum wage, their employers can apply and receive a special certificate from the Department of Labor in Delaware. This allows them to pay a subminimum compensation, 75% of the minimum wage. However, this is only applicable till Oct 21, 2024. Going forward, employers must pay them the standard minimum wage.

Historical Change of Minimum Wage in Delaware  

The minimum wage in Delaware was raised on Jan 1, 2023, when it increased from $10.50 per hour to $11.75 per hour. Before that, the last time the state's minimum wage was increased was on Jan 1, 2022, when it went from $8.75 per hour to $10.50 per hour.

The minimum wage in Delaware is expected to increase in the next three years, and by 2025 it will be $15.00. Let's see how the minimum wage in Delaware has changed over the past few years.

Year

Minimum Wage Changes in Delaware

2023

$11.75

2022

$10.50

2019-2021

From $8.75 to $9.25 on Oct 1, 2019
From $8.25 to $8.75 on Jan 1, 2019

2015-2018

$8.25

2014

$7.75

2009-2013

$7.25

2008

$7.17

2007

$6.65

2000-2006

$6.15

1999

$5.65

1997-1998

$5.15

FAQ

1. How often is the Minimum Wage updated in Delaware?

The minimum wage is typically updated every year on Jan 1, although there have been a few years where no changes were made (e.g., 2018, 2020, and 2021). The increase in the minimum wage is to cater to the increasing living cost.

2. Is there a possibility of a Minimum Wage increase in Delaware?

Yes. The minimum wage in Delaware is expected to rise steadily over the next two years, 2024 and 2025 at $13.25 and $15.00, respectively. Due to the wage increase, businesses must ensure that they adhere to Delaware labor laws to avoid incurring fines. They can do this by evaluating their staffing needs, investing in up-to-date technology, and hiring skilled workers. 

3. Who qualifies for the Minimum Wage in Delaware?

Most workers within the state of Delaware are entitled to earn at least $11.75 per hour. Those exempt include agricultural workers, babysitters, learners or apprentices who are still undergoing training, and employees of certain small businesses with less than 4 total employees (including family members).

4. How many hours is a Minor allowed to work in Delaware?

According to labor laws on minors in Delaware, everyone worker below the age of 18 is not permitted to work for more than 12 hours each day as it could collide with their school work. As such, minors are allowed to work a maximum of 5 hours per day when school is in session and 8 hours when school is closed.


Josh Evan

Written by:

Josh Evan

Josh Evan is the professional career counselor and career development writer at When Work Works. He loves to see people from this field succeed through initiating the right thing in the right way. He never tells; he shows the way. We appointed John not because of his impressive CV. It was his counseling charisma which stood out of everything. He can implant idea, confidence and productive thoughts into mind almost effortlessly. His pen and mouth both speak for the greater good.


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