The Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI) announced that the beginning date for Florida's newly enacted minimum wage will be May 2, 2005. Florida's minimum wage was created in a constitutional amendment approved by voters on Nov. 2, 2004, and covers all employees in the state covered by the federal minimum wage.
The state minimum wage will start at $6.15 per hour for all hours worked in Florida and thereafter be indexed to inflation each year. For tipped employees meeting eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers may count tips actually received as wages towards satisfaction of the minimum wage, but the employer may not pay less than $3.13 per hour in direct wages.
Employees who are not paid the minimum wage after May 2, may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against the employer or any person violating Florida's minimum wage law. The state Attorney General or other official designated by the state legislature may also bring a civil action to enforce this amendment.
As stated in Florida's Constitution, the case law, administrative interpretations, and other guiding standards under the Fair Labor Standards Act should be the guide regarding the construction of Florida's constitutional amendment creating the minimum wage. Fair Labor Standards Act information and compliance assistance can be found at http://www.dol.gov/dol/compliance/comp-flsa.htm.
Pursuant to the language of the constitutional amendment, the AWI is to perform an annual calculation to establish a new minimum wage each year and to publish that information. AWI will perform this calculation on September 30, with the new minimum wage becoming effective the following January 1.