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Minimum Wage in Wisconsin in 2023

Last Updated on:

09 January 2023
Minimum Wage in Wisconsin

Wisconsin, the 25th largest state in the United States, is well-known for its dairy farming, cheesemaking, cold winters, and ginseng production. 

In other words, it’s a great place for business, and one of the things you must know to start and run a business in Wisconsin is the minimum wage laws in the state. 

You might be pleased to know that the minimum wage in Wisconsin is in accordance with the Federal Minimum Wage Laws for almost all employees. But some employees may be exempt from the minimum wage requirements based on the nature of their job. 

What is the Minimum Wage in Wisconsin?

The current minimum wage of Wisconsin in 2023 is $7.25/hour. Since being increased by $0.75 from $6.40 to $7.25 in 2008, the minimum wage rate hasn’t changed. 

1. Subminimum Wage

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the subminimum wage is the authorization of employment at a lower wage than the minimum wage to allow employers to hire certain types of workers who may otherwise not be employed. 

For instance, Wisconsin state supports people with disabilities to get a job by providing a rule of subminimum wage.

Employers must issue a legal certificate from the Wage and Hour Division and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that allows them to hire employees with disabilities at a lower wage than the standard.

But there are some legal criteria employers must agree on paper to attain an authorized license for the special minimum wage.

  • Hourly-paid employees can and should review the special minimum wage rates at least once in 6 months.
  • Employers change employee pay rates after a year to decrease the difference between the work of disabled and non-disabled employees.

After the written documentation, the Department of Workforce Development will only consider the request by the following standards.

  • The kind and severity of an employee's disability impact that employee's productivity.
  • Using reliable work measuring tools and productivity measurement of nondisabled employees to estimate the productivity of a disabled worker by comparison.
  • Taking consideration of experienced, nondisabled workers’ pay who perform similar or equivalent work in the same job sector.
  • The pay rates a disabled worker will receive for tasks that are similar to those handled by experienced and skilled non-disabled employees.

Then the special license for disabled employees’ minimum wage will hold details of the wage rate and the period in which an employer must pay it.

Note: Student workers, cab drivers, servers, trainees, etc., fall into this category.

2. Wisconsin’s Weekly Minimum Wage

The weekly minimum wage in Wisconsin is $290 per week, but it is only for a 40-hour work week. 

Yearly Wage

Wisconsin’s yearly minimum wage is $15,080/year.

3. Wisconsin’s Overtime Minimum Wage

In Wisconsin, all employers must pay employees at least 1.5 times the standard minimum wage for working more than 40 hours a week.

Employees will receive minimum overtime pay of $10.88 per overtime hour, and the state has no daily overtime limit. However, an employer can set a limit for overtime hours. 

Wisconsin also completely exempts some occupations from overtime pay: hospital employees, funeral home employees, taxicab drivers, outside salespersons, poultry inspectors, movie theatre employees, etc.

But employees also have the option to file an unpaid overtime claim to the Wisconsin Department of Labor if an employer does not pay the legally owed overtime wage.

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

The current Federal Minimum Wage for all employees, unless in the exempted category, is $7.25 per hour. This is the same for the Wisconsin Minimum Wage, which is also $7.25 for each hour.

So, there is no difference between the two minimum wage rates.

Who Qualifies for Minimum Wage?

According to State or Federal Law, employers in the Wisconsin state must pay every employee $7.25 per hour unless their job position is exempt from the minimum wage category.

Minimum Wage Exemptions 

The Department of Labor has a list of many exemptions from the minimum wage, but Wisconsin sets up specific minimum pay rates for many of the exempt employees. 

According to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), tipped employees, farm workers, seasonal workers, student workers, and others fall into exempt occupations.

So, Wisconsin has the following minimum wage pay:

  • All farm and agriculture-involved employees will receive the total amount of $7.25 per hour.
  • Golf caddies get paid $5.90 for nine holes and $10.50 for eighteen holes. 
  • Employers pay camp counselors on a weekly basis. Wisconsin states that they must receive $210/week (with lodging and board), $265/week (with the board only), and $350/week (with no accommodation or board).

Aside from these, “opportunity employees,” employees under 20 years working less than 90 days, have a minimum wage of $5.90 per hour.

But employers must pay the “opportunity employees” the minimum wage of $7.25 if they turn 20 during their 90 days working period.

However, employers can legally cut off meal or lodging expenses from “opportunity employees” and farm workers, but the law restricts it to $4.15/meal and $8.30/day lodging.

On the other hand, tipped workers can be paid a wage significantly lower than the minimum wage. They can be paid $2.33 per hour, excluding tips. But the employer must pay the difference if a tipped worker’s tips and wages don’t make up the full $7.25 minimum wage rate. 

Employers cannot legally count physical tips, such as souvenirs, merchandise, tickets, gifts, etc., as a tip. Employers can only add the cash given to the worker to their wage per hour.

In conclusion, except for the exempted occupations, all workers qualify to receive a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour from their employers.

Historical Change of Minimum Wage in Wisconsin

Wisconsin state did not see any change in its minimum wage rate since 2008, when the government raised it by $0.75 from $6.50 to $7.25. 

For over ten years, the minimum wage in Wisconsin has been $7.25, even though living costs have risen. 

The Wisconsin state law says that the local government cannot change the minimum wage unless the state approves it. Moreover, the refusal to provide a small raise comes from the thinking that it will lower the possibility of employment.

The lawmakers estimate that 1.4 million people will lose their jobs if the wage increases, although more than half of the state’s employees would benefit highly.

Here is a chart of the last 19 years of change in Wisconsin Minimum Wage:

Effective Date

Change in Minimum Wage

January 1, 2023


January 1, 2022


January 1, 2021


January 1, 2020


January 1, 2019


January 1, 2018


January 1, 2017


January 1, 2016


January 1, 2015


January 1, 2014


January 1, 2013


January 1, 2012


January 1, 2011


January 1, 2010


January 1, 2009


January 1, 2008


January 1, 2007


January 1, 2006


January 1, 2005


January 1, 2004



1. Is Overtime Pay mandatory in Wisconsin State?

According to the Wisconsin Department of Labor, it is obligatory for employers to compensate employees for overtime work. They must at least pay workers the overtime minimum wage in Wisconsin, which is 1.5 times the standard minimum wage of $7.25.

2. Are there possibilities for an increase in Wisconsin Minimum Wage in future?

There may be increases in the future, but that is something that cannot be speculated upon at the moment. 

3. Can Minors work in Wisconsin State?

Minors of 14 to 17 years of age can work in Wisconsin state, but there are some limitations when it comes to the number of hours they can legally work. 

4. What are the limitations for Minors working in Wisconsin?

Minors aged 14 and 15 cannot work more than 3 hours daily on a school day. So, 14- and 15-year-old minors can work only a total of 18 hours during a school week. However, they can work 8 hours per day on non-school days. On the other hand, 16- and 17-year-olds have a work limit of 5 hours on school days and 32 hours on non-school days.

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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