As of January 1, 2009, Florida’s minimum wage was $7.21. Effective July 24, 2009, Florida’s minimum wage increased, along with the Federal minimum wage, to $7.25 per hour. Additionally, each year, Florida’s minimum wage is subject to annual increases based on inflation.
Florida law gives employers a $3.02 per hour tip credit against the hourly minimum wage for tipped employees.
Florida follows the Federal law. Overtime pay of time and a half is required for all non-exempt employees for hours worked over 40 during a workweek.
Florida does not have any state specific exemptions to the overtime pay requirements. Federal law exemptions apply, the most common of which include:
Holidays / Vacation
Florida does not have a state law requiring additional pay for work done on holidays or weekends. Employers are also not required to offer vacation, holiday or other pay for time not worked. These policies are at the discretion of the employer.
Meal Breaks / Rest Periods
Florida does not require an employer to provide breaks to employees. However if breaks are given, employers must follow the Federal requirements which state that when breaks of 20 minutes or less are given, they must be paid. Meal breaks of 30 minutes or more can be unpaid as long as the employee is relieved of all duties.
Reporting Time Pay
Neither Florida nor the Federal law requires payment if an employee reports to work expecting to work for a certain number of hours but does not get to work their full schedule.
Florida law does not mandate specific pay periods nor does the Federal law.
Florida law does not specifically address the types of deductions which can be taken; however pursuant to the FLSA, deductions for items such as uniforms, shortages, damaged goods, or trade tools cannot reduce the employee’s hourly wage below the minimum rate.
Statute of Limitations
For overtime claims, the statute of limitations is the same as under Federal Law – claims can be made for the prior 2 years (3 years if the violation is willful).
State Law Remedies / Penalties
The same Federal law remedies for overtime violations are available in Florida. Employees can recover all unpaid overtime for two or sometimes three years prior to the filing of a lawsuit. In almost all cases, they are additionally entitled to an award of “liquidated damages” equal to the amount of the unpaid overtime. This means that a successful employee can recover two times the amount of unpaid overtime. A successful plaintiff can also be awarded attorney’s fees and expenses.
The state attorney general may also bring an enforcement action to enforce the minimum wage.
Employers may be subject to a $1,000 per violation fine for willful violations.
Employees may also be able to bring a wage claim against an employer based on written or oral employment contracts.
Have questions about your own situation? Contact us and we can give you more information and review your specific circumstances. You can submit your information using the convenient online intake form, send an email or call Michael Lore.