Florida’s Minimum Wage Will Rise to $8.65 in 2021

By: Rachel D. Gebaide and Morey Raiskin

Florida’s minimum wage will increase effective January 1, 2021 as follows:

  • Florida’s minimum wage will increase by nine cents from $8.56 to $8.65 per hour.
  • Florida’s minimum wage for tipped employees will increase by nine cents from $5.54 to $5.63 per hour.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is required to publish the new state minimum wage on its website by October 15 of each year (http://www.floridajobs.org), to be effective the following January 1.

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 Poster Requirements

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 here, and Florida’s minimum wage poster can be found here. Both are available at no charge.

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, employers are required to provide certain information to tipped employees 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 at the start of the new calendar year such that employers must deliver a new notice to their tipped employees no later than January 1, 2021.

Although the notice can be delivered verbally or in in writing, Lowndes recommends that employers annually deliver written notice and obtain a signed acknowledgment from each tipped employee for whom the employer uses the tip credit.

Pre-Suit Notice

Employers of non-exempt workers are advised to remain informed of any increase in Florida’s minimum wage. Fluctuations can occur annually and may 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 $8.65 per hour (or $5.63 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. If the employer is found to have intentionally violated Florida’s minimum wage requirements, the employer may be assessed fines in the amount of $1,000 per violation.

Please contact a member of our Labor and Employment practice for more information about Florida’s minimum wage or any other employment law matters. Please also visit the firm’s employment law blog at www.theemployerlawyers.com for more information regarding employment law issues affecting companies.