BY: RACHEL D. GEBAIDE & TIMOTHY C. HAUGHEE
OCTOBER 13, 2017
Florida’s minimum wage will increase effective January 1, 2018 as follows:
- Florida’s minimum wage will increase by 15 cents from $8.10 to $8.25 per hour.
- Florida’s minimum wage for tipped employees will increase by 15 cents from $5.08 to $5.23 per hour.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is required to publish the new state minimum wage on its website by October 15th of each year (http://www.floridajobs.org), to be effective the following January 1st. The annual calculation is based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) for the South region. However, Florida’s minimum wage will never decrease, even if the CPI goes down in a given year.
Federal and Florida Minimum Wage Posters: Florida’s minimum wage statute requires employers to post a minimum wage notice in a conspicuous and accessible place in each establishment where employees work. Florida’s posting requirement is in addition to the federal requirement to post a notice of the federal minimum wage. The federal minimum wage poster is available at no charge at: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm. Florida’s minimum wage poster is available at no charge at: http://www.floridajobs.org/business-growth-and-partnerships/for-employers/display-posters-and-required-notices. Employers can satisfy their minimum wage and other employment law posting obligations by purchasing, on an annual basis, a Florida-specific “all in one poster” that is commercially available.
Special Notice to Tipped Employees: In addition to the federal and Florida minimum wage notice requirements, federal law requires employers to provide notice to tipped employees of certain information including, but not limited to, the amount of the cash wage the employer is paying a tipped employee. In most cases, the cash wage paid to tipped employees in Florida will change on January 1, 2018. Accordingly, employers are advised to give a new notice to their tipped employees no later than January 1, 2018. Although federal law does not specify the manner in which the notice is given, we recommend that the notice be given in writing.
Pre-Suit Notice. Employers of non-exempt workers are advised to remain informed of any increase in Florida’s minimum wage, which can fluctuate annually and which can differ from the federal minimum wage. A non-exempt employee who is paid at least the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, but who is paid less than Florida’s minimum wage of $8.25 per hour (or $5.23 per hour for tipped employees) may, after giving their employer notice and an opportunity to resolve any claims for unpaid wages, bring a civil action against his or her employer for violating Florida’s minimum wage law. Florida’s Attorney General also may bring an enforcement action to enforce the state’s minimum wage law, which may include assessing fines against an employer in the amount of $1,000 per violation if the employer is found to have intentionally violated Florida’s minimum wage requirements.