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Posts by Bober & Bober, P.A.

Florida Minimum Wage Increases to $8.05

Effective January 1, 2015, the Florida minimum wage will increase from $7.93 to $8.05 per hour. The increase is required by a Florida constitutional amendment establishing a minimum wage for the state, and requiring that the minimum wage be adjusted based on inflation and the Consumer Price Index. The increased minimum wages for 2015 also applies to tipped employees. Tipped employees must receive a direct wage of at least $5.03 per hour, in addition to tips received. In order for…

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Exotic Dancers Win Minimum Wage Lawsuit

A court has determined that exotic dancers who performed at Rick’s Cabaret, an adult nightclub in New York, were employees covered by federal and state wage laws. A class action consisting of strippers sued the night club where they worked for unpaid minimum wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York wage laws. The gentlemen’s club did not pay the dancers any wages, took a portion of the dancers’ performance fees, and imposed fines if the dancers…

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Prepaid Wage Cards May Violate Wage Laws

An increasing number of mostly hourly workers are being paid their wages by prepaid cards instead of by check or direct deposit. Employees are able to use these prepaid cards like debit cards to withdraw their pay at an A.T.M. But in most cases, using these prepaid cards requires the employee to pay a fee. For example, prepaid payroll card providers may charge a fee to make a withdrawal at an A.T.M., a fee to receive a paper statement, a…

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Unpaid Internships May Violate Wage Laws

Employers are not allowed to refuse to pay minimum wages and overtime merely because they label workers as “interns.” While an unpaid internship can provide a valuable experience for some people, it also may result in a wage violation for an employer. An example of internship wage violations is a lawsuit brought by unpaid interns alleging overtime and minimum wage violations committed by Fox Searchlight regarding the interns’ work on the film Black Swan. In determining whether an internship may…

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Florida’s Minimum Wage Increases to $7.79 in January 2013

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has announced that the minimum wage in Florida will increase to $7.79 per hour as of January 1, 2013. Florida’s minimum wage is currently higher than the federal minimum wage. The federal minimum wage requires covered employers to pay their employees only $7.25 per hour, which is $0.54 less than the Florida minimum wage as of 2013. Under Florida’s higher minimum wage in 2013, employees who earn tips will be entitled to a direct…

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Study Finds Growing Wage Theft Problem in Florida

A study by the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy, Center for Labor Research and Studies at Florida International University entitled “Wage Theft: An Economic Drain on Florida” found wage theft to be a growing and widespread problem in Florida. The Study found that the tourism industry (which includes the accommodation and food service industries), the retail trade industry, and construction industry were particularly impacted by wage theft. In a double blow to employees, the Study found that the…

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New Rule Proposed for Home Care Workers

The Department of Labor has proposed a new rule that would extend minimum wage and overtime protections to home care workers. Currently, home care workers are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act because these workers are considered “companions.” Advocates for a change to the law argue that the companionship exemption from overtime improperly puts home care workers, many of whom care for the sick and elderly, into the same category as babysitters. There are approximately two million home care…

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Illegal Deductions from Employee Wages

Some employers try to deduct money from employee wages to cover their overhead, which the employer should be responsible for paying. For example, a business may try to deduct money from a server’s tips for such expenses as uniforms, register shortages, walk-outs, returned food, broken plates, or damaged property. If such deductions cause a worker’s hourly wage to fall below the applicable minimum wage, the deduction may be illegal. These improper deductions often occur in the hospitality industry where restaurant…

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Florida Minimum Wage Increases to $7.67

On January 1, 2012, the Florida minimum wage increased by 36 cents to $7.67 per hour. In 2011, the Florida minimum wage was $7.25 until June 2011 when it increased to $7.31. The 2012 increase is equivalent to an extra $14.40 per week for an employee who works 40 hours and earns the minimum wage. For tipped employees, the current Florida minimum wage requires employers to pay tipped employees an hourly direct wage of $4.65. The federal minimum wage remains…

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Case Alleges Illegal Tip Pool at Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q

A former server at South Florida Barbeque, Inc., doing business as Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, has filed a case in court seeking to bring a class action for alleged tip theft. Like many restaurants, Sonny’s takes a “tip credit,” and pays its servers $3.02 less than the Florida minimum wage. The server in that case claims Sonny’s maintained an illegal tip pool by using server tips to supplement the wages of non-tipped employees such as dishwashers, salad preparers, and managers…

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Local Businesses Covered by FLSA if Employees Handle Materials

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision, Polycarpe v. E&S Landscaping Services, Inc., which rejected the argument by several employers that they were not a covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as an enterprise because their business were local in nature. The businesses at issue performed landscaping, construction work, alarm system installation, or shutter installation. The Polycarpe decision reversed a number of trial courts that had erroneously restricted FLSA coverage. It essentially put the…

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Many Landscaping Companies Violate Wage Laws

Some landscaping companies try to avoid overtime pay by paying their workers a piece rate for removing landscaping, but fail to pay their workers overtime when they exceed for 40 hours in a week. For example, one landscaping company was required to pay $52,240 in back wages and penalties following a determination by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that company violated provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) buy using such a piece rate pay…

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