Florida's minimum wage rose to $7.31 per
hour, effective June 1, 2011. The increase is a result of a recent
lawsuit—Cadet v. Fla. Agency for Workforce
Innovation—filed in Leon County Circuit Court where
the judge ruled that the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation
had miscalculated the minimum wage, and ordered it to be
The minimum wage applies to all employees in the state who are
covered by the federal minimum wage. Employers are required to pay
their employees the higher of the two wage levels. Because
Florida's minimum wage is now higher than the current federal
minimum wage rate of $7.25, covered employers have to honor the
state's higher wage rate. Florida employers must post the
updated state minimum-wage notice in a conspicuous and
accessible place in each workplace.
For tipped employees, since the Florida Constitution caps the
tip credit at $3.02, employers are required to pay a direct wage of
$4.29 per hour (i.e., $7.31 – $3.02).
The definitions of "employer," "employee"
and "wage" for state purposes are the same as those
established under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). More
information is available on the State of Florida, Agency for
Workforce Innovation's website, available at www.floridajobs.org/minimumwage.
Employees who are not paid the minimum wage may bring a civil
action against the employer or any person violating Florida's
minimum wage law. The state attorney general may also bring an
enforcement action to enforce the minimum wage. FLSA information
and compliance assistance can be found at: www.dol.gov/dol/compliance/comp-flsa.htm.
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The beginning of the year may seem like a long way away, but it can sneak up on you. I often have employers who are scrambling at the end of the year to understand legal changes and to update policies to insure compliance.
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