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Florida Minimum Wage

Illegal Restaurant Tip Pools

Many restaurants operate tip pools where a number employees, such as food runners and bussers, share in server or bartender tips. Tip pools can be legal, but sometimes restaurants illegally include back-of-the-house employees such as cooks, dishwashers, and janitors.  Even bar backs who have insufficient customer interaction may be improperly included in bartender tips.  Some restaurants also illegally allow The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits this type of tip theft, and provides protections for server and bartender tips.  If you…

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Survey Says Floridians Want a Higher Minimum Wage

  A recent survey of Floridians by Credit Loan indicates that Floridians believe the ideal minimum wage would be $11.99. That’s $3.74 higher than the current Florida 2018 minimum wage of $8.25.  More than 2,600 Americans were surveyed and the finding were weighted against 2016 U.S. Census data. Florida’s minimum wage increased $0.15 in 2018 compared to the $8.10 minimum wage for 2017.  Florida’s minimum wage is recalculated yearly based on the Consumer Price Index. The federal minimum wage currently…

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Higher Florida Minimum Wage Starting in January 2017

 On January 1, 2017, the Florida minimum wage will increase by five cents ($0.05) from $8.05 to $8.10 per hour.  A covered employee who is paid the minimum wage would also be entitled to an overtime wage of at least $12.15 per hour.  As of January 1, 2017, tipped employees in Florida must be paid a direct wage of $5.08, which is equal to the $8.10 minimum wage minus a $3.02 tip credit, and an overtime wage of $9.13.  An employee…

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Overtime Wage Protection Expanded

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized a new overtime wage rule that requires employers to pay overtime wages to employees making less than $913 per week or $47,476 per year.  Employers would have to pay such employees time-and-a-half their regular hourly rate for any hours worked over forty (40) in a week.  In determining if an employee’s salary meets the $47,476 threshold amount, employers can inlcude bonuses and incentive payments such as commissions, up to 10% of…

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Manicure Industry Wage Theft

Many nail salons commit wage theft violations by not paying manicurist at least the minimum wage for hours worked, and by making illegal deductions from customer tips or wages.  (“The Price of Nails” New York Times, 5/7/15).   Manicure industry wage theft is common.  For example, nail salons often do not pay newly hired manicurists the required minimum wages for work.  While nail salon workers are usually considered “tipped employees” and paid a reduced minimum wage, salon owners often fail to make…

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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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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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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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