In September 2022, Florida’s minimum wage officially increased to $11 an hour for covered non-exempt employees. This is the second in six increases to the minimum wage planned between 2021 and 2026 – resulting in a $15 minimum wage in the final year.
An increasing minimum wage benefits Floridians working hard to make ends meet, but there are a few scenarios in which the new $11 (and eventual $15) minimum does not apply. It’s essential to understand whether or not you’re covered by these changes so you can be paid what you’re owed for your work.
Tipped employees in Florida have a separate minimum wage that covers their pay. In 2003, the state adopted a $3.02 tipped wage credit which means the minimum wage for these workers will fall $3.02 below the state minimum.
This results in a current rate of $7.98 ($11 minus the $3.02 tip credit). If a tipped employee’s final pay is less than the state $11 minimum then the employer must make up any difference. For example, if you only make an average of $2 in tips per hour and end up with $9.98 in per-hour wages, your employer must cover that final $1.02.
Employees of Companies With Less Than $500,000 in Annual Gross Revenue
Federal wage laws state that minimum wage laws apply only to those employees who work for companies with more than $500,000 in gross revenue per year. Because the state law defers to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for employee definitions, this also applies to the Sunshine State.
In general, these employers will still pay a minimum wage or better but are not required to do so.
Federal Wage and Hour laws provide an exemption to certain employers who hire full-time students. Employers eligible for this program are retail stores, agriculture businesses, and colleges or universities.
To qualify, the employer must obtain a certificate from the Department of Labor that allows them to pay as low as 85% of the minimum wage where the work is being performed. Student employees that are a part of this program cannot work more than eight hours in a day or 20 hours in a week during which school is in session. Eligible students can work up to 40 hours a week when school is out of session but no more.
A similar “Student Learners” program applies to high school students who are at least 16 years old and who are enrolled in vocational education. These employers can also receive a certificate that allows them to pay as low as 75% of the minimum wage where the work is performed.
Are You Exempt?
There are numerous other exemptions to minimum wage laws in Florida including executives, administration officials, computer workers, outside sales representatives, and more.
If you believe you’re being exempt from Florida’s new minimum wage but are owed the full amount, contact Feldman Legal Group. We fight to ensure workers get what they’re owed for the work they’re doing.