By Russell Landy
Hourly wages are set to increase in Florida on January 1, 2012. Employers who do not pay their employees the minimum wage risk a civil action from employees. Florida’s minimum wage law, and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), authorize civil suits against an employer or any individual person violating minimum wage laws – including owners, supervisors and managers. Under such suits, the employee is entitled to recover double the amount of unpaid wages, along with any attorney’s fees and costs incurred in recovering the unpaid wages. The Florida Attorney General and the United States Department of Labor may also bring an enforcement action to enforce the minimum wage laws.
Beginning January 1, 2012, Florida’s minimum wage will increase from the current rate of $7.31 to $7.67 per hour. Employers must pay their employees the hourly state minimum wage for all hours worked in Florida, and Florida law requires the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to periodically recalculate Florida’s minimum wage based upon the increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Earners and Clerical Workers in the Southern Region. This minimum wage will remain in effect until January 1, 2013, then the rate will be recalculated.
For companies employing individuals outside the State of Florida, the Federal minimum wage will stay at $7.25 per hour. Each state, however, may have laws maintaining a minimum wage higher than the Federal rate. A chart of those states may be found at http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm.
Also, beginning January 1, 2012, Employers must pay tipped employees entitled to receive a tip credit under the FLSA a direct wage of $4.65 per hour, but may apply a tip credit of $3.02 per hour.
The FLSA also requires employers to keep accurate records of the hours worked by employees entitled to overtime. Failure to keep accurate records amounts to a violation of the statute.
Also, Florida Statutes require employers to post a minimum wage notice in a conspicuous and accessible place in each establishment where employees work. This poster requirement is in addition to the federal requirement to post a notice of the federal minimum wage. Employers may download Florida’s minimum wage poster in both English and Spanish from the Agency for Workforce Innovation’s website at http://www.floridajobs.org/workforce/posters.html.
The federal poster can be downloaded from the U.S. Department of Labor’s website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm.
If you have any questions regarding minimum wage, overtime, or employee compensation issues, please do not hesitate to contact Russell Landy at (305) 371-3960, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About – Russell Landy is an employment and business litigation attorney with the law firm of Damian & Valori LLP. Mr. Landy has significant experience in handling wage and hour disputes.