Florida’s minimum wage is set to increase in October from $8.65 to $10 an hour. For tipped workers, the minimum wage will rise from $5.63 to $6.98. The increases follow a state constitutional amendment to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour five years from now.
While the minimum wage increase is a good sign Florida lawmakers are in tune with ensuring employees receive proper wages given today’s rising inflation rates, unfortunately, many Florida employees still must fight to ensure they are getting the pay to which they are entitled and many businesses fail to comply with the wage laws.
Florida company under fire
A case-in-point involves a high-profile Florida company, Mills Air Conditioning & Heating. The entity was under fire for allegedly failing to pay proper wages to certain employees. Specifically, the company was accused of failing to calculate wages by leaving out incentive and commission pay for some employees. Some employees also alleged that the entity undercounted their overtime hours.
According to a recent announcement by the federal Department of Labor, the HVAC company recently agreed to pay $34,142 to workers affected.
Protections under the law
Laws are in place to protect workers from wage and hour violations. This includes overtime pay, minimum wage requirements, meal and rest breaks, and more, for certain workers. However, many employers, either intentionally or unintentionally, fail to comply with the rules.
Sometimes employers fail to properly log hours worked by their employees or provide adequate lunch breaks. Some simply misclassify employees, again either intentionally or unintentionally, to avoid paying overtime.
Employees who believe they have been shortchanged proper wages under the law have options. They should never feel hesitant about speaking up or questioning their pay, as it is illegal for any employer to fire, demote or take any retaliatory action against an employee for speaking up about possible wage violations (or any other potential employment law violation).
Workers who feel that have not been paid what they are entitled to should consult with an employment law attorney in their area who knows the laws and can offer advice, advocacy and possible legal recourse options.
And businesses who are concerned that they may not be in compliance with wage and hour laws should consult with a qualified and experienced employment lawyer.