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Reminder: Florida’s minimum wage increases Jan. 1

The minimum wage in Florida will go up 36 cents to $7.67 an hour beginning Jan. 1—about a 5% increase. The minimum wage for workers earning tips increases from $4.29 an hour to $4.65.

Florida’s minimum wage rate increases to $7.67 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2012. Because this is higher than the current federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour, covered employers will be required to comply with the higher state minimum wage.

Florida’s minimum wage law applies to all employees in the state of Florida who are covered by the federal minimum wage law. Employers of “tipped employees” who meet eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may count tips actually received as wages under the Florida minimum wage law.

However, the employer must pay tipped employees a direct wage. The direct wage is calculated as equal to the minimum wage ($7.67) minus the 2003 tip credit ($3.02), or a direct hourly wage of $4.65 as of Jan. 1, 2012. Note that the direct hourly wage that must be paid tipped employees in Florida is higher than the direct wage required for tipped employees under federal law because, unlike federal law, the Florida Constitution limits the amount of the tip credit an employer may apply toward the required minimum wage to $3.02.

Employers who must pay their employees the Florida minimum wage must post a notice of the state minimum wage requirement (in addition to posting a notice as required by the FLSA). A Florida law poster can be downloaded from the AWI web site at: http://www.floridajobs.org/business-growth-and-partnerships/for-employers/display-posters-and-required-notices. The federal Minimum Wage Poster can be downloaded from the Department of Labor’s web site at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm.

Florida law requires the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to calculate a minimum wage rate each year. The annual calculation is based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to Sept. 1, 2011.


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