Employees across the State of Florida deserve fair pay — and many employers are bound by law to pay at least the Florida minimum wage to their workers.
It is widely known that the U.S. has a federal minimum wage standard, which has been stagnant at $7.25 per hour since 2009. But each state has the right to set its own. The Florida minimum wage is higher than the federal rate. In November 2020, Florida voters approved yearly increases to Florida minimum wage through 2026. Incremental increases of $1.00 per year are made each year until the minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour in 2026.
Employees need to keep up to date with the latest information and changes regarding the Florida minimum wage to ensure they are getting paid what they are lawfully owed.
What Is Minimum Wage in Florida?
The minimum wage in Florida is guaranteed by law to employees across many industries. But not all employees are covered. Those who work for businesses that make less than $500,000 gross revenue per year typically do not have to pay minimum wage. Full-time students may be subject to a 15% decrease if their employer files for a waiver with the Department of Labor.
However, under state and federal law, the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), workers may be covered “individually” to receive a guaranteed minimum wage. As per our experience here at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., and due to the liberal interpretation of the law, most employees are subject to the individual coverage provision of the state law and FLSA.
Prior to September 2021, the Florida minimum wage was $8.65 per hour. So, what is the Florida minimum wage?
Florida Minimum Wage 2021 Increases
As of September 30, 2021, the Florida minimum wage is $10.00 per hour. The increase in the minimum wage in 2021 is meant to offset the increase in the standard of living expenses and help employees and their families.
Unfortunately, not all employers abide by the law. Employers should be held accountable, whether they do it unknowingly – or knowingly – to save the cost of running their business. If they do not adhere to guidelines set out by the state for the rate of minimum wage in 2021, a case may be filed for minimum wage violations for employees to get what they are rightly owed.
If your employer has only been paying you the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and you have been at the job for a considerable amount of time, you could be eligible for a very significant amount of money. Of course, it depends on the hours you have worked under the guaranteed Florida minimum wage.
The increases in 2021 are great for employees – and more good news is to come. Keep an eye on your paycheck in the coming years. More increases are on their way due to voters’ approval of the amendment to the Florida Constitution in 2020.
These increases will continue through 2026, raising the minimum wage $1 per hour each year from September 30 up to $15 per hour on September 30, 2026.
The Florida minimum wage 2021 increases also affect tipped employees.
For Tipped Employees
Servers and other tipped employers have also benefited from the increase, which is equal to the amount of the raise for hourly employees, adding $1.35 per hour for their wages. Tipped employees should now be receiving a minimum of $6.98 per hour (plus tips).
Many workers across the State of Florida employed in restaurants/hospitality are tipped employees. If you or someone you know receives tips as part of your wages, make sure to check your paycheck to see if the hourly wage has increased to $6.98 per hour.
For Hourly and Salaried Employees
The $10.00 per hour minimum wage rate as of September 30, 2021, covers hourly and salaried employees. Some companies place employees on a straight salary, even if the individual is not a manager, in a specialized field, or has other authority. If you are not receiving wages (hourly or salary) at $10.00 per hour and are not a tipped employee, contact an employment attorney to determine if you have a case.
Minimum Wage Disputes
Employers can often be difficult. They may either say they do not have enough money in the payroll to pay Florida minimum wage or even tell you that you either do not deserve $10.00 per hour or that you must “work your way up to it.” Sometimes, they will even harass or bully you, threatening your job or even outright firing you if you request to be paid your rightful wage.
Know that you have employee rights – including the right to file a case against your employer to receive what you are owed with the increases in 2021 to Florida minimum wage as detailed in an amendment to the Florida Constitution.
When to Contact An Attorney
If you are not making $10.00 per hour (or $6.98 per hour for tipped employees) or have been denied a request for that rate for Florida minimum wage, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. is dedicated to fighting for the rights of Florida employees, including the right to a minimum wage. We have the experience, skills, and abilities to stand up to powerful employers and understand what it takes to hold them accountable under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
With food, consumer products, and various living expenses rising, it is especially crucial for employees to receive the wages they are entitled to under the law. We help employees fight for Florida minimum wage and other types of wage disputes, including unpaid overtime, back wages, unpaid commissions, bonuses, and tips, as well as earned vacation time and unpaid final checks. You may also be entitled to liquidated damages, fees, and costs.
Do not let cost be a concern in contacting us. If you have a case, we do not get paid unless you win.
Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.