What Florida workers can do if their employers violate state's new minimum wage requirement

Effective Sept. 30, Florida’s minimum wage will rise from its current $8.65 per hour to $10 an hour.

click to enlarge Fight For $15 activists outside a McDonald's in Tampa, Florida on Jan. 15, 2021. - Dave Decker
Dave Decker
Fight For $15 activists outside a McDonald's in Tampa, Florida on Jan. 15, 2021.

Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature passed a $13 minimum wage initiative for state employees, signed into law by Gov. DeSantis in June. A $15 minimum wage is also in effect for all City of Tampa employees.

And effective Sept. 30, Florida’s minimum wage will rise from its current $8.65 per hour to $10 an hour, or $6.98 plus tips for tipped employees.

Florida Statutes require that employers who pay workers a minimum wage post a notice about the upcoming minimum wage increase in a “conspicuous and accessible” spot in the workplace, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Any employer who’s found liable for intentionally violating minimum wage requirements is subject to a fine of $1,000 per violation, payable to the state. Employers are also legally barred from retaliating against workers who exercise their right to a minimum wage.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped employers from violating minimum wage requirements before. 

A recent report from the Florida Policy Institute, for instance, shows that over a 14-year period, roughly 17%, or 250,000 low-wage workers in Florida each year on average, were paid less than minimum wage after the state’s last major minimum wage increase in 2005, from $5.15 to $6.15 an hour.

While Florida doesn’t have a state agency to ensure that employers are following Florida’s minimum wage requirement, this doesn’t leave workers without options.

Depending on where you live, there may be several options for reporting an employer for minimum wage violations and asserting your right to a minimum wage.

Options for reporting wage theft in Tampa Bay and statewide:

  • Statewide File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, or through Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office
  • Pinellas County Call the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights to file a complaint, if covered by the county’s Wage Theft and Recovery Ordinance, or fill out a Wage and Recovery Complaint Online Form
  • Hillsborough County Call Consumer Protection Services at (813) 635-8316 or fill out this online complaint form
  • Tampa Contact the ESA Wage and Hour Division at the Tampa District Office by calling (813) 288-1242 or visiting 4200 W Cypress Street, Suite 444

Send anonymous news tips to [email protected]. Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team works tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter.

About The Author

McKenna Schueler

McKenna Schueler is a freelance journalist based in Tampa, Florida. She regularly writes about labor, politics, policing, and behavioral health. You can find her on Twitter at @SheCarriesOn and send news tips to [email protected].

Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]