BY: RACHEL D. GEBAIDE & TIMOTHY C. HAUGHEE
OCTOBER 15, 2015
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (“DEO”) has announced that the minimum wage in Florida will remain at $8.05 per hour for 2016. The minimum wage for employees who earn tips will remain at $5.03 per hour.
The DEO 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.
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 $8.05 per hour (or $5.03 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 allegedly violating Florida’s minimum wage law. Florida’s Attorney General also may bring an enforcement action to enforce the state’s minimum wage.
Florida’s minimum wage statute also 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. Florida’s minimum wage post is available for downloading in English and Spanish from the DEO’s website at: http://www.floridajobs.org/business-growth-and-partnerships/for-employers/display-posters-and-required-notices.