On November 3, 2020, voters in the State of Florida passed an amendment that will bring the state mandated minimum wage up to $15.00 per hour by 2026. Slightly more than 60% of voters approved the initiative, making Florida the first state in the South to adopt such a measure.
Florida last voted on a minimum wage ballot in 2004, when voters approved a minimum wage increase to $6.15 per hour. As of 2020, 7 states in the country have passed bills providing for a $15.00 per hour minimum wage to become effective incrementally. But Florida is the first state to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour through a ballot initiative.
When does Florida’s $15 per hour minimum wage go into effect?
On January 1, 2021, Florida’s minimum wage will become $8.65 per hour, an increase of $.09 from 2020’s rate of $8.56 per hour. However, effective September 30, 2021, the minimum wage in Florida will increase by $1.44 to $10.00 per hour. After that initial jump, Florida’s minimum wage will increase by $1.00 each year until September 30, 2026, when it reaches $15.00 per hour. See the chart below:
January 1, 2021: $8.65 per hour
September 30, 2021: $10.00 per hour
September 30, 2022: $11.00 per hour
September 30, 2023: $12.00 per hour
September 30, 2024: $13.00 per hour
September 30, 2025: $14.00 per hour
September 30, 2026: $15.00 per hour
Does Florida’s new minimum wage law apply to people who work for tips?
Restaurant workers and other tipped employees will benefit from the increases to Florida’s minimum wage over the next several years. Restaurant owners are still entitled to take a tip credit of $3.02 from the state’s current minimum wage, but of course with the minimum wage rates continuing to rise, so will restaurant worker’s take-home pay. For instance, in January 2021 when Florida’s minimum wage increases to $8.65 per hour, tipped employees must be paid at least $5.63 hourly plus their tips, which must make up the $3.02 difference. Then, on September 30, 2021, when the minimum wage becomes $10.00 per hour, tipped workers should be paid a minimum of $6.98 per hour plus tips earned. This amount will increase one dollar annually until September 30, 2026, when Florida’s minimum wage reaches $15.00 per hour.
What does this mean for employees and business owners?
Historically, increases to the Florida minimum wage have occurred on January 1 of each year, as it will again this January 1, 2021 when the minimum wage increases to $8.65 per hour. Now, with this new wage law taking effect on September 30, 2021, Florida’s minimum wage rates are set to change every year on September 30. This will continue through September 30, 2026.
This calendar change creates a potential for compliance issues for several employers who maintain a workforce of minimum wage earners. Employees should be aware of these changes and protections that have been adopted for them.
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If you believe you are not being paid properly and are owed minimum wages or overtime, please reach out to USA Employment Lawyers. Our experienced employment attorneys may be able to help you get the compensation you are owed.Get in touch with us today by calling (800) 483-0998 or by filling out our online contact form.