Employer costs. Wages and tips of J1 visa foreign workers.

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Our service is free for employers and you save up to 8% in payroll taxes hiring foreign students with J1 visa. J1 students pay their own placement fees, housing and transportation costs. You just have to pay students wages according to federal minimum wage requirements. These are the only costs for US employers to hire foreign j1 workers. The minimum hourly wage has been $7.25 since July 24, 2009, for employees covered by federal minimum wage provisions. For workers receiving tips, employers are only required to pay a minimum direct wage rate of $2.13 per hour, "if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips," according to an article by the federal Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act adviser.

Tipped positions and minimum wage

The base tip minimum wage of $2.13 an hour is combined with tips to equal at least the current minimum wage. To pay just $2.13 an hour, an employer has to tell the employee about the tip credit allowance, be able to show the employee made at least the minimum wage when the tip credit and tips are combined, and the employee is allowed to retain all tips. If an employee does not make enough in tips to bring the wage up to the minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference.

Tip jar

An employee is allowed to keep all tips under certain exceptions. Several states allow a tip pooling arrangement where all employees take part. In some restaurants, "tipping out" is required, a practice where waiters and waitresses share tips with bussers, bartenders, runners, and other service providers. Also, an employee can work in a tipped position at times and an untipped position for the same employer. The tip credit applies only to the hours worked as a tipped employee.

State Differences

Different state regulations emphasize the need to check how states classify tipped workers. In Texas, the definition of serviced or tipped employee is an employee of a hotel, motel, tourist place or restaurant. The minimum amount received in tips is $20 per month, not the generally mandated $30. New York has six levels of maximum tip credit against minimum wage. A chambermaid averaging between $1.10 and $4.10 an hour in tips can be paid $1.10 an hour, while employees averaging $4.10 or more per hour in tips can be offered a minimum hourly wage of $2.35.

Why wait? You can start choosing best candidates for your business up to 6 months before their actual arrival. We are already placing students for 2012 season! Students start applying to the Work and Travel program 7-9 months before their actual arrival date, so we recommend to make an approximation of how many positions you will need and start considering resumes. Contact Wollt to provide job description by email, skype or phone call, or post your j1 jobs now and we'll start sending you videos and resumes with photos of appropriate candidates, willing to take the position. You will consider candidates. Selected ones will call you to be interviewed. And that's it! On agreed date students arrive with all legal documentation and start working!


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