If meals and lodging are customarily furnished by the employer, and the employee elects to accept them, the reasonable value of these two items can be credited toward the minimum wage under both federal and state laws. Under federal law, which applies to most employers, tips may also be credited toward the minimum wage, except that the employee must be paid $2.13 an hour regardless of any tips received. Under state law, which applies only to a few very small employers, tips may be credited toward 100 percent of the minimum wage rate; the employer is not required to pay $2.13 an hour.
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