As 2014 comes to a close, employers must be aware of the pending increase in wages for their nonexempt employees. Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $8.05 on January 1, 2015. With the increase, Florida’s required minimum wage is nearly one dollar more than the federal minimum wage ($7.25). On September 30th of each year, Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity recalculates the State’s minimum wage as required by Florida’s minimum wage law found in Section 448 of the Florida Statutes. This calculation is based on the increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Earners and Clerical Workers in the Southern Region. This minimum wage increase applies to all employees who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Among employees who must receive this minimum wage in Florida are tipped employees working in the State. Employers who employ individuals who receive tips may take a credit of up to $3.02 per hour. The tipped employees must also receive a direct hourly wage. Effective January 1, 2015, this direct hourly wage must be at least $5.03, which is Florida’s new minimum wage ($8.05) minus the permissible tip credit ($3.02).