As budgets for 2024 are finalized and/or implemented, businesses should keep in mind recent and upcoming minimum wage increases, as well as consider possible changes that may occur regarding the applicability of exemptions for overtime pay.
Minimum wage considerations: As of September 30, 2023, Florida’s minimum wage is set at $12.00 per hour. This minimum wage will increase again on September 30, 2024, to $13.00 per hour.
This means that employers who meet the eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may credit up to $3.02 toward satisfaction of the minimum wage paid to tipped employees, but they must also pay tipped employees a direct hourly wage of $8.98 until September 30, 2024, when that amount will increase to $9.98.
Moreover, if employers have not provided notice to their tipped employees of the September minimum wage change, they should do so immediately. Tipped employees must receive notice when the amount of cash wages the employer is paying the tipped employee changes. While the Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulations do not require that the “tip credit notice” be in writing, employers should provide such notice in writing and retain a signed copy of the notice as evidence of compliance.
Further, when the minimum wage increases, the notices required of employers by law must be updated. Employers are required by law to post a minimum wage notice in a visible and accessible place in each establishment where such employees work. Likewise, federal law also requires that employers post a notice of the federal minimum wage under the FLSA. Florida’s minimum wage notice is available for download in English, Spanish, and Creole from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website at https://www.floridajobs.org/business-growth-and-partnerships/for-employers/display-posters-and-required-notices. The FLSA minimum wage poster can be downloaded from the DOL’s website: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/posters
Possible Changes to Exemptions: Although not in effect, when budgeting employers may want to keep some resources on hand for possible wage and hour developments. In November 2023, the DOL noticed its intent to try to further limit the exemptions to overtime by increasing the salary thresholds for exempt employees. For further information on the proposed changes, visit the DOL website at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/overtime/rulemaking.
Employers should be aware that employees who are not paid the minimum wage or appropriate overtime under state and/or federal law may bring a civil action against those employers violating such wage laws. Additionally, the U.S. DOL and Florida’s Attorney General may also bring enforcement actions to enforce federal and state wage laws, respectively.