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Florida Minimum Wage Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets a minimum wage that all employers must pay their employees. Some states, including Florida, have enacted legislation to require a minimum wage that exceeds the FLSA rate. Employers are required to pay the higher of the two wages, which is typically the one set by the state.

As of January 1, 2013, the minimum wage in the state of Florida is $7.79 per hour and $4.77 per hour (plus tips) for tipped employees. Each year, Florida adjusts the rate based on the Consumer Price Index and inflation. The next years’ minimum wage will be posted on October 15 of the preceding year.

If you are an employee in Florida and are earning less than the required minimum wage, please fill out our no cost, no obligation case review form to have one of our minimum wage attorneys determine if you are owed compensation.

How Can An Attorney Help Me Recover Wages?

Minimum Wage Claim

Employers may intentionally or unintentionally deny an employee proper wages. Retaining an experienced minimum wage attorney can provide the leverage you may need to ensure your employer complies with federal and Florida state law.

Federal law requires companies pay their workers the higher minimum wage, whether state or federal. As of January 1, 2013, Florida workers must receive at least $7.79 per hour. Any employees receiving less than this amount after January 1, 2013 may be able to recover lost pay though a minimum wage lawsuit.

There is a limited window in which you may file a claim to recover wages, so it is important to contact an Orlando minimum wage attorney as soon as possible.

Employee Rights and Employer Retaliation

The Florida State Constitution provides employees with the right to:

  • File a complaint about an employer’s alleged noncompliance with lawful minimum wage requirements;
  • Inform any person about an employer’s alleged noncompliance with lawful minimum wage requirements; and
  • Inform any person of his or her potential rights and to assist him or her in asserting such rights.

Employers are forbidden from retaliating against any employee who exercises these rights.  If an employer is found to have intentionally violated the minimum wage law, they may be subject to $1,000 fine, per violation.

Florida Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

Florida minimum wage law is slightly different than the FLSA regulations. The Florida Constitution states that employees can take a tip credit of no more than the FLSA tip credit in 2003 ($3.02). Therefore, under the Florida Constitution, the employer's tip credit cannot exceed $3.02. As the Florida minimum wage rises, the tip credit of $3.02 stays consistent, while the direct wage to the tipped worker increases. As of Jan. 1, 2013, the minimum wage for tipped employees is $4.77—the Florida minimum wage ($7.79) minus the tip credit from 2003 ($3.02). If, at the end of the shift, the hourly rate plus tips does not equal the minimum wage in Florida, or $7.79, the employer must make up the difference.

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How to File a Claim to Collect Compensation

Under the FLSA, an employee has a limited amount of time in which to file a lawsuit for back wages. The Florida Constitution expanded on this, allowing employees a larger window in which to bring lawsuits, after the employer committed the violation.

Before an employee may file a civil suit against their employer, they must notify them, in writing, of the alleged violation and the intent to file a lawsuit. The employer has 15 days from the receipt of that notification to pay the total amount of unpaid wages or resolve the claim to the satisfaction of the employee. If the employer fails to do so within 15 days, the employee may be able to file a civil suit against their employer for back wages.

If an employee is successful in their litigation against their employer, they may be entitled to legal and equitable relief, including back pay and reinstatement of employment, if discharged.

If you are an employee in the state of Florida and want to file a claim seeking wages that you were wrongfully denied, our Orlando minimum wage attorneys may be able to help. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to compensation, fill out our case review form to have your claim reviewed by an Orlando minimum wage attorney, at no cost or obligation to you.

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