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Minimum Wage in Florida Remains Unchanged for 2011

Next year, 2011, the minimum wage in Florida will remain unchanged at the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. The current federal minimum wage went into effect July 24, 2009. Federal law requires that employers pay the higher of the federal or state minimum wage. The federal minimum wage will prevail over the state rate until such time as the Florida minimum wage becomes higher than the federal rate.

Pursuant to Florida law, the Agency for Workforce Innovation must to calculate an adjusted minimum wage rate each year and to publish the minimum wage on its website on October 15. The annual calculation is based on the percentage change in the federal Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers in the South Region for the 12-month period before September 1, 2010. With the higher federal minimum wage taking precedence over the state rate, that calculation will not affect the 2011 minimum wage in Florida.

Pursuant to a 2004 amendment to Florida’s Constitution, Employers must pay their employees the hourly state minimum wage for all hours worked in Florida. The definitions of “employer”, “employee”, and “wage” for state purposes are the same as those established under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers of “tipped employees” who meet eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the FLSA, may count tips actually received as wages under the FLSA. However, the employer must pay “tipped employees” a direct wage. The direct wage is calculated as equal to the minimum wage ($7.25) minus the 2003 tip credit ($3.02), or a direct hourly wage of $4.23 as of July 24, 2009.



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