One of the biggest topics, when employees get together to gossip, is about wages and hours. If someone feels you are underpaying them, paying them late or not providing time off, you can be sure they will tell everyone about it. Wage or hour disputes can be incredibly damaging for staff morale and your company’s reputation.
What are Florida’s wage and hour laws?
As a Florida employer, you need to abide by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Florida’s General Labor Regulations. Here are some of the rules they set:
- Minimum wage: In 2021, Florida’s minimum wage is currently $8.65 per hour. It is set to rise to $10.00 per hour in September. Tipped employees receive $5.63 per hour.
- Overtime: The FLSA requires you to pay overtime above 40 hours per week. State law requires you to pay it above 10 hours per day.
- Breaks: You do not have to give employees breaks in Florida. If you do, you cannot deduct pay for rest periods of less than 20 minutes. You do not have to pay for meal breaks of more than half an hour.
- Time off: This can get incredibly complex. Workers may be entitled to leave under the Family Medical Leave Act or for domestic violence, jury service or military service. If you are unsure, seek advice.
Understanding labor laws can be challenging. Yet failing to understand them could result in employment litigation. Seek help on the specific rules that apply to your situation. They can vary depending on the industry, the number of people you employ, and the particular job a worker carries out.
Once you have the information, do not keep it to yourself. Consider including it in your employee handbook. Being upfront and transparent with employees about their rights can reduce the chance of litigation due to confusion.