For business owners and operators in Florida, controlling labor costs can be an integral part of managing their companies’ ultimate profitability. In December of 2015, CNBC reported that several states across the nation were poised to increase their minimum wages. Some states are taking what many may consider a dramatic step in raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. This increase, however, will not happen all at once but over the course of a few years.
The list of states agreeing to the minimum wage hike up to $15.00 per hour does not include any state in the south. In addition to this large wage raise, at least 16 other states are increasing the minimum wage by more modest amounts. Closer to home for Floridians, this is happening in West Virginia where the wage will grow to $8.75 per hour and in Arkansas where the minimum wage will now be $8.00 per hour.
According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the state of Florida is required to review the minimum wage every calendar year. Effective January 1, 2016, the state of Florida instituted a minimum wage of $8.05 per hour. There is an exception to this for employees who also receive tips. As outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act, there is a tip credit that can be utilized. In Florida, this amounts to $3.02 per hour. When this is applied, the minimum hourly wage is then essentially reduced to $5.03. In order to leverage the tip credit, businesses must meet specific requirements as laid out by the FLSA.
Whether or not Florida eventually increases its minimum wage to higher levels like some other states remains to be seen.