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Minimum Wage Increases January 1, 2019

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By Jennifer C. Rey

Effective January 1, 2019, the Florida minimum wage was increased to $8.46. Employers will need to review pay rates for their employees who are paid less than the new minimum wage rate to ensure that pay rates are adjusted to comply with the new rate.

Title 29 §206 of the U.S. Code sets the requirement that, “every employer shall pay to each of his employees who in any workweek is engaged in commerce or in the productions of goods for commerce or is employed in an enterprise engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce wages of not less than…” the established federal minimum wage rate. The federal minimum wage rate is currently $7.25 per hour.

However, in November 2004, voters in Florida approved a constitutional amendment that created Florida’s minimum wage, separate and distinct from the federal minimum wage. Pursuant to Section 24 of Article X of the State Constitution, “employers shall pay employees wages no less than the minimum wage for all hours worked in Florida”. Section 448.110 of the Florida Statutes sets forth the measures appropriate for implementing the constitutional amendment and authorizes the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to calculate an adjusted state minimum wage rate which is effective each January 1. The annual calculation is based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to September 1, 2018. This year the calculation resulted in an increase, establishing a new Florida minimum wage rate of $8.46 per hour.

Beginning January 1, 2019, employers must pay their employees not less than $8.46 per hour for all hours worked in Florida, and must post a minimum wage notice, reflecting the current minimum wage rate in effect, in a conspicuous and accessible place in each location where employees work. Employees in Florida eligible for minimum wage who are not paid the Florida minimum wage may bring a civil suit against their employer. If you are an employer who employs individuals paid at the minimum wage, please take time to review your payroll data to adjust the minimum wage rate, and update your minimum wage notice postings accordingly.

If you have questions about minimum wage, the Fair Labor Standards Act, or other wage and hour issues, please feel free to give us a call to schedule a consultation.