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…)