(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section and section 48-1203.01, every employer shall pay to each of his or her employees a minimum wage of:
(a) Seven dollars and twenty-five cents per hour through December 31, 2014;
(b) Eight dollars per hour on and after January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015; and
(c) Nine dollars per hour on and after January 1, 2016.
(2) For persons compensated by way of gratuities such as waitresses, waiters, hotel bellhops, porters, and shoeshine persons, the employer shall pay wages at the minimum rate of two dollars and thirteen cents per hour, plus all gratuities given to them for services rendered. The sum of wages and gratuities received by each person compensated by way of gratuities shall equal or exceed the minimum wage rate provided in subsection (1) of this section. In determining whether or not the individual is compensated by way of gratuities, the burden of proof shall be upon the employer.
(3) Any employer employing student-learners as part of a bona fide vocational training program shall pay such student-learners' wages at a rate of at least seventy-five percent of the minimum wage rate which would otherwise be applicable.