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What the new Florida minimum wage means for employees

A minimum wage is a vital tool for both workers and businesses. As an employee, you rely on the minimum wage requirements to ensure you receive enough compensation. The minimum wage often changes frequently. 

As of January 1, 2019, the hourly minimum wage in Florida is now $8.46, in comparison to $8.25. Here is an analysis of this new law and what to do if your employer does not pay you the correct amount. 

All about the new wage hike

Aside from the 21-cent increase to $8.46, tipped workers are also enjoying a rise in wages, from $5.23 to $5.44. This is all thanks to a 2004 constitutional amendment that guarantees the Florida minimum wage to be higher than the national minimum wage. In 2005, the state raised its minimum wage to $6.15, notably higher than the federal wage at the time – $5.15. Right now, the Florida minimum wage is $1.21 higher than the federal wage. The minimum wage in the Sunshine State regularly increases due to inflation. 

While this may not seem like a significant increase, it is notable considering the history of the minimum wage in Florida. This is actually the biggest growth since 2012. In 2012, there was a 36-cent increase to $7.67 from $7.31.

Reporting and collecting unpaid wages

Unfortunately, not every business owner or employer adheres to the law. Some employers want to cheat their workers out of their rightful wages. If you are the victim of a wage violation, you may not make enough money to support yourself. You deserve at least the current minimum wage as an employee in Florida. 

If you believe you are not getting the wages the guarantees you, you may be able to remedy the situation. Thankfully, there is a process that allows you to file complaints, report unpaid wages and recover back pay from your employer. It is vital to understand your rights and protections regarding wages as a worker in Florida. 

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