On November 2, 2004, Florida voters approved a constitutional
amendment that created Florida's minimum wage. The minimum wage
applies to all employees in the state who are covered by the
federal minimum wage. Florida law requires a new minimum wage
calculation each year on September 30, based on the Consumer Price
Index. If that calculation is higher than the federal rate (which
is currently $7.25 per hour), the state's rate then would take
effect the following January.
Florida's minimum wage is currently $7.67 per hour,
effective January 1, 2012. According to our discussions with state
officials, beginning January 1, 2013, Florida's minimum wage
will be $7.79 per hour, which is a 1.5% (or $0.12) increase from
last year due to the change in the Consumer Price Index.
Employers of "tipped employees" who meet eligibility
requirements for the tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(FLSA) may count tips actually received as wages under the FLSA.
However, the employer must pay "tipped employees" a
direct wage. Effective January 1, 2013, the new minimum wage for
tipped employees should become $4.77 per hour plus tips.
The state is scheduled to issue a press release today,
confirming the rates. In deciding whether the federal or state
minimum wage applies, federal law directs that businesses must pay
the higher of the two. The Florida minimum wage will prevail over
the federal rate until (and unless) the federal minimum wage
becomes higher than the state rate.
Employers must pay their employees the hourly state minimum wage
for all hours worked in Florida. The definitions of
"employer," "employee," and "wage"
for state purposes are the same as those established under the
An employee who has not received the lawful minimum wage after
notifying his or her employer and giving the employer 15 days to
resolve any claims for unpaid wages may bring a civil action in a
court of law against an employer to recover back wages plus damages
and attorneys' fees. The state attorney general may also bring
an action to enforce the minimum wage.
Note: This article was published in the
October 15 2012 issue of the Florida eAuthority.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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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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