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How much do you know about Florida's minimum wage?

It goes without saying that on Friday mornings, most people are not just looking forward to planning for the upcoming weekend, but also cashing their hard-earned paychecks.

It also goes without saying that while most people clearly know what wage they are supposed to earn in their position, that they may nevertheless be lacking a general understanding of their rights, and their employer's obligations under the state's wage and hour laws.

In today's post, we'll look at some basic background information on Florida's minimum wage.

What is the minimum wage in Florida and how is it calculated?     

Effective January 1, 2014, the minimum wage here in Florida is $7.93 per hour. This is more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

State law dictates that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity must determine a minimum wage rate each year using data found in the federal Consumer Price Index.

Who is covered by the state's minimum wage laws and what are the obligations of employers?

Simply put, all employees in the state otherwise covered by the federal minimum wage must be paid the state's hourly minimum wage by their employers for all hours worked. Those employers that fail to do this may face a civil action filed by the employee.

It is worth nothing that the state essentially defines the terms "employee," "employer," and "wage" the same as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

What about tipped employees?

Florida law dictates that the gratuities of "tipped employees" may be counted by employers toward their state minimum wages provided that these employees satisfy the eligibility requirements for the tip credit as set forth under the FLSA.

However, these employers are required to pay their tipped employees a direct wage, which is calculated as the minimum wage ($7.93) minus the 2003 tip credit ($3.02) or, in simpler terms, a direct hourly wage of $4.91

If you have questions about the state's wage and hour laws, or concerns about possible employer violations, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.

Source: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, "Florida's minimum wage," Oct 15, 2013

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