Effective September 30, 2022, Florida’s minimum hourly wage increased from $10 per hour to $11 per hour for standard employees.  For qualified tipped employees, the minimum hourly wage increased from $6.98 per hour to $7.98 per hour.  Florida’s minimum hourly wage will continue to increase by $1 each year until the minimum reaches $15 per hour on September 30, 2026, after which the wage will be adjusted annually for inflation.

Employers should ensure that their Florida Minimum Wage poster is updated and posted in an area where their employees will reasonably be exposed to it (the law calls for placement of the poster “in a conspicuous and accessible place”).  For employees working remotely or whose job will otherwise not put them in the vicinity of the poster, employers should email them a copy of the poster to fulfill the employer’s posting duty.  Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity maintains links for these mandatory posters in English, Spanish, and Creole at www.FloridaJobs.org/posters.

The law puts the burden on the employer, not the employee, to maintain and retain a record of the hours worked by their hourly employees.  Therefore, employers who pay hourly workers must ensure that their hourly employees are in fact timely and accurately recording all their hours worked.  An employer who knows an employee is working “off the clock” has a duty to pay the employee for that time worked.  If an employee works “off the clock” despite being told not to do so, or repeatedly forgets to “clock in” or “clock out”, the employer should pay the employee for all time actually worked and address the employee’s failure to “clock in or out” with performance management, such as discipline or even termination.

Employers who fail to timely and properly pay their hourly employees may be liable for the dollar amount of the unpaid wages, “liquidated damages” in an additional amount equal to the unpaid wages, payment of the employees’ attorneys’ fees, and fines in the amount of $1,000 per violation.  Employees making a claim under Florida’s minimum wage law must first make a written demand for payment that must follow certain requirements.  Time is of the essence when responding to such demand letters.

Beggs & Lane’s Labor & Employment Practice Group provides clients with experienced counsel on almost every aspect of the employment relationship. We work closely with each client’s managers and human resource professionals, as well as senior executives and in-house counsel, to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of every business. The Group includes Russell F. Van Sickle, a Florida Bar Board Certified Labor and Employment Lawyer.