Similar bills are being considered by state legislatures in California, Georgia, Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Nebraska, New York, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and Vermont. Check back frequently for the latest updates on those bills.
By contrast, New Jersey is currently considering a law that would allow employers to share an employee’s or former employee’s credit history, work evaluations and other information in the personnel file with prospective employers or government agencies.
In most of these states, the limits to an employer’s use of credit checks apply to all employment decisions. However, the Florida and Michigan bills would only restrict use of credit history in hiring. An employer could still use a credit report for employment decisions regarding current employees.
The Florida minimum wage remains at $7.25 in 2011, the same rate as the federal minimum wage. Because the state minimum wage is lower than the federal rate, by law employees are entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. That rate is not expected to increase during 2011, according to an announcement by the state Agency for Workforce Innovation.
Tipped employees must still be paid $4.23 per hour in Florida during 2011. However, the employees must average at least $7.25 per hour for all hours worked in the payroll week, when tips and wages are added together. If the employee does not average $7.25 per hour in wages plus tips, the Florida employer must pay the difference in wages.
Every Florida employer covered by the state minimum wage law must display both a state and federal minimum wage poster in a “conspicuous and accessible place in each establishment where these employees work.”
The good news for employers is that most state minimum wages are holding steady in 2010. In January 2009, more than a dozen states increased their minimum wages. In 2010, only a few minimum wage changes are in effect.
The Kansas minimum wage increased from $2.65 to $7.25 on January 1, 2010. This is the first time in more than two decades that the Kansas minimum wage has increased. The change comes after more than a decade of efforts by Kansas Democrats. On December 31, 2009, Kansas had the lowest minimum wage of any state. Effective today, X states have lower minimum wages.
To be fair to Kansas, five states have no minimum wage whatsoever. They are Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina.
In an unprecedented step, the Colorado minimum wage actually decreased by 4 cents from $7.28 per hour to $7.24 per hour today. Most employees in the state are still covered by the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
About a dozen states annually increase the minimum wage based on the cost of living. However, in most areas the cost of living has shown a decrease of 1% to 2%. While many state statutes prevent the minimum wage from being reduced, they have not been increased.
When an employer is covered by both the federal and state minimum wage, the employee is entitled to protection under whichever law provides the greater benefit. In this case, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is higher.
Many states have minimum wage laws that apply to employers too small to be covered by the federal minimum wage. Florida does not. The state minimum wage applies to every employee covered by the federal minimum wage.
Tipped employees in Florida must be paid at least $4.23 per hour. If the employee does not average at least $3.02 per hour in tips over the payroll week, the employer must pay the difference in direct wages. This ensures that tipped employees always earn at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour when tips and wages are combined.
Florida voters passed the state minimum wage on November 2, 2004. At that time, citizens were frustrated with a federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour that had (more…)
Most employers in the state are already aware that on July 24, 2009 the Florida minimum wage will increase by 4 cents from $7.21 to $7.25 per hour. That is because the federal minimum wage increases on that date – and by statute, the Florida minimum wage cannot be lower than the federal minimum wage.
Currently, under Florida law, employers are permitted to take a “tip credit” of up to $3.02 per hour. This means that the Florida employer can pay a worker who regularly earns tips $3.02 per hour less than the minimum wage.
However, the tip credit the employer takes in any payroll week cannot be greater than the actual tips earned by the employee. If the employee earns less than $3.02 per hour in tips on average over the payroll week, the employer must pay the difference.
Suppose John is a food server in Miami. His hourly rate is $4.23. During John’s first week, he works 20 hours and earns just $20 in total tips. That is an average of $1 per hours in tips. The employer must pay John an additional $2.02 for each hour that John worked, to bring his total earnings up to the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The employer adds $40.40 to John’s paycheck as a “tip differential.” This is the difference between the salary plus tips actually earned, and the minimum wage.
John earns $4.23 per hour x 20 hours = $84.60 in wages. In addition, (more…)