Minimum Wages In Miami, FL
At the FairLaw Firm, my office routinely handles cases for employees who were not properly paid the minimum wages they earned. My office is familiar with the many ways in which employers violate the law by analyzing the strict regulations that apply as well as the exemptions that may apply to determine whether an employer has broken the law. My office also is familiar with the reasons why an employee may not be entitled to receive minimum wages.
What Is a Minimum Wage?
Most employees are entitled to receive at least a minimum wage for each hour worked. Certain exceptions apply that would prevent an employer from having to pay an employee or all of its employees minimum wages.
It is tough enough to try and survive by just earning a minimum wage. But trying to live when you get paid less than minimum wage is even more difficult. Most minimum wage jobs are demanding and thankless. When an employer does not properly pay its workers at least a minimum wage for the time worked, the FairLaw Firm can help.
The current federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour for each hour worked. The Florida minimum wage has exceeded the federal minimum wage since June 1, 2011.
The Florida minimum wage was set at $8.10 per hour for all of the calendar year 2017. The state minimum wage rose to $8.25 per hour in 2018. In 2019, Florida’s minimum wage rose to $8.46 per hour, while the following year, state minimum wage increased to $8.56 per hour. On January 1, 2021, Florida’s minimum wage increased to $8.65 per hour. But, on September 30 of the same year, Florida’s $8.65 per hour minimum wage was brought up to $10.00.
The current Florida minimum wage for 2023 is $11 per hour. Although it was set in September 2022, it is scheduled to increase to $12.00 on September 30, 2023.
Minimum Wage Violations
Some minimum wage violations can be obvious – like when an employer pays less than the required minimum wage for each hour worked. Another obvious violation occurs when an employer pays a salary that, when spread over (divided by) the number of hours worked, does equal at least the minimum wage for each hour worked.
One example of this would be when an employee receives $350 per week but works 40 hours during that week when the minimum wage is $10 per hour. The employee’s hourly wage would be $8.75/hour, which would be less than the applicable Florida minimum wage.
Other times, minimum wage violations are not as obvious. These minimum wage violations can occur when an employer requires its workers to spend money (known as a “kickback”) that reduces the employee’s wages to below the minimum wage for such things as gas, tolls, mileage, or uniforms.
Employers also violate the law by misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor when she/he is really an employee. An independent contractor has to pay for their own expenses, unlike other employees. These expenses can include gas, wear and tear on their vehicles, tools, or equipment. These employment-related expenses are called “kickbacks.” Deducting them from the pay a misclassified employee receives can result in an employee receiving less than minimum wage.
Servers, bartenders, and other tipped employees who rely on tips to supplement their hourly pay can legally be paid less than the full minimum wage under certain circumstances. For a more in-depth discussion of how the minimum wage laws affect tipped employees, please take a look at my page on Tipped Employees.
How Can FairLaw Firm Help
Minimum wage violations can result in damages that range from minimal to very substantial. An employee’s damages are based on the length of time worked for an employer in the last two years (which can be extended to three or even five years), the hours worked each week, and the difference between the amount received as wages and the minimum wage. Plus, an employee is entitled to recover all attorneys’ fees and costs incurred upon winning the case.
Unless an employer can prove that it had a good reason for not paying minimum wages, it also will be responsible for paying a penalty amount equal to the unpaid minimum wages (double damages).
The FairLaw Firm is familiar with how employers can violate the law by not even paying their employees at least a minimum wage. My office provides a free initial consultation and handles most cases on contingency, so contact us now at (305) 518-1703.