By Anita Byer, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk
In case you forgot, Florida’s minimum wage is increasing by $1 at the end of the month. On September 30, 2022, Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $11 per hour. The minimum wage for tipped employees, which must be paid in addition to tips, will increase to $7.98 per hour. This increase is required by the $15 Minimum Wage Ballot Initiative (Amendment 2) approved by Florida voters in November 2020.
Amendment 2 increases Florida’s minimum wage incrementally over a period of years until it reaches $15 per hour in 2026. The first (and largest) minimum wage increase happened last year. Future increases are set to occur annually on September 30th per the following schedule.
Annual adjustments for inflation, which have taken place since 2005, are scheduled to resume September 2027. Florida’s Minimum Wage Act is interpreted and applied much like the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Employers must pay no less than the federal minimum wage or their state’s minimum wage, whichever is higher. Florida’s 2022-2023 minimum hourly wage remains higher than the current federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25.
Florida’s constitutional minimum wage requirements remain otherwise unchanged by Amendment 2. Employers, for example, are still prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against employees for exercising their constitutional minimum wage rights. Employers can still be sued by employees and Florida’s Attorney General for violating these rights. These lawsuits are still expensive.
Covered employers are also still required to post the required minimum wage notice in the workplace. Per Florida law:
- the notice must be posted prominently in a conspicuous and accessible place in each establishment where minimum wage employees are employed;
- the poster must be at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and in a format easily seen by employees;
- the text in the poster must be of a conspicuous size;
- the text in the first line must be larger than the text of any other line; and
- the text of the first sentence must be in bold type and larger than the text in the remaining lines.
To reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes, employers should provide wage and hour training to managers and supervisors. Employers should also carry Employment Practices Liability Insurance with limited coverage for wage and hour claims. Contact us to learn more about protecting your business with Employment Practices Liability Insurance.