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By: Jonathan Kandel
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity recently announced that the Florida minimum wage will be $7.79 per hour beginning January 1, 2013. This represents an increase of 1.5 percent (or $0.12) from the state’s current minimum wage of $7.67 per hour.
The increase is due to a change in the Federal Consumer Price Index. In 2004, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that established a state minimum wage. The state minimum wage is recalculated on September 30 each year, based on the Federal Consumer Price Index.
Florida’s minimum wage applies to all employees in Florida that are covered by the federal minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Pursuant to the FLSA, a state minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour, prevails. Therefore, all employees in Florida must be paid at least $7.79 per hour beginning January 1, 2013.
The increase also affects how much “tipped employees” must be paid. If an employee meets the requirements for the tip credit under the FLSA, the employer may count tips actually received as wages under the Florida minimum wage. However, employers must pay “tipped employees” a direct hourly wage, which is calculated by subtracting the 2003 tip credit ($3.02) from the state minimum wage ($7.79). Accordingly, the direct hourly wage for “tipped employees” will be $4.77 as of January 1, 2013.
Due to the increase, employers in Florida must update their state minimum wage posters. In addition to the federal posting requirements, Florida requires employers to post a minimum wage notice in a conspicuous and accessible place in each establishment where employees work. The updated state minimum wage posters can be downloaded in English and Spanish at http://floridajobs.org/business-growth-and-partnerships/for-employers/display-posters-and-required-notices.