A new year means a Florida minimum wage increase

As 2013 draws to a close and we begin to look forward to 2014, we must also look forward to another increase in the Florida minimum wage rate. Beginning January 1, 2014, the minimum wage in Florida will increase 14 cents, bringing the bottom-line minimum wage up to $7.93 per hour. Employers should be prepared to implement the latest minimum wage increase and be aware of all the requirements that come along with it.

As required by law, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) must recalculate Florida's minimum wage rate every year. The current minimum wage in Florida is $7.79 per hour. Workers who are paid the minimum wage will have a little something extra to celebrate on New Year's Eve because they will receive a 14-cent-per-hour raise beginning January 1. In addition to the minimum wage increase for regular hourly employees, the hourly wage for tipped employees will rise to $4.91.

Employers should take steps ahead of time to prepare for the upcoming minimum wage increase. Be diligent in ensuring that you meet all the requirements of the law. That includes not only paying the proper minimum wage rates but also remembering the poster requirements as well as any increases to minimum overtime compensation rates. English and Spanish versions of the required minimum wage posters can be found on the DEO's website.

With 2014 fast approaching and the minimum wage changes that will arrive with it, there's no better time than now to consider a wage and hour self-audit. Such audits help eliminate any concerns about whether you're paying your employees properly under state and federal law. They're the best way to ward off the costly overtime and minimum wage lawsuits that are popping up all over Florida. In addition, should you find yourself facing a lawsuit over wages, evidence of a previous audit will help you avoid the threat of liquidated damages, which can double an award to a current or former employee.

Get started with our wage/hour self-audit. Send an e-mail to Tom Harper at gth@HarperGerlach.com for a copy. Read More...