In most cases, federal laws supersede state laws; which becomes a major hurdle for those who sell marijuana under state legalization. However, there are exceptions. One that comes to mind is the minimum wage laws. In that case, the law mandating a higher wage is the one that is in effect, whether state or federal. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25. What most people don’t realize, is that it only effects people whose job falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and therefore does not apply to some industries or classifications of workers. A few of those not affected include farms, disabled workers, and those in a professional supervisory role such as doctors and lawyers (you can find a full listing here:

For example, if you live in Wyoming, the state minimum wage is set at $5.15, so in actuality the minimum is at the federal level of $7.25 unless you are on the excluded industries, such as agriculture and ranches, in which case the state’s minimum of $5.15 prevails. Interestingly some states such as Nevada follow the federal minimum unless your employer does not offer health insurance, in which case the minimum wage is set at $8.25. Some counties, and even cities, have different minimum wage laws then the state they are part of, and some states such as Arizona have an annual cost of living rate increase built into their minimum wage law.

The problem is, that the Constitution does not specify which laws are at the state level and which are at the federal level. Amendment 10 of the Bill of Rights simply states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Minimum wages, drugs, water rights, or even land use are not addressed in either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

So which law do you feel should prevail? State or federal?