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Are Florida servers and bartenders making minimum wage?

When it comes to your job, making money is usually the most important factor. While it is nice to enjoy your workplace and fraternize with colleagues, your work is still work, and you need fair compensation for it. Serving and bartending are notoriously difficult yet potentially lucrative careers, but both of these positions rely on income paid by patrons in the form of tips.

As any server or bartender will tell you, diners do not always tip. In fact, if business is slow or patrons are stingy, you may not even make minimum wage. There are a few other things you should know about servers and minimum wage if you want to ensure you are making a fair salary. 

You get tip credit

According to the Department of Labor, this means that Florida workers are afforded a tip credit of $3.02 per hour. With the minimum wage being $8.25, this means that workers could be making as little as roughly $5.00 per hour on their paychecks. This, of course, is considerably below the minimum wage. Many other states have dropped this model and simply implemented a standard wage for all industries.

You must request compensation

If you are not making an hourly minimum wage, it is up to you to request compensation from your employer. Legally, they must make up the difference between your wages and the state minimum wage, but this process can be confusing. You should start by documenting your wages from tips and paychecks in detail so that you can calculate the exact amount your employer owes you.

Seek legal counsel

If your employer does not agree to compensate you for the difference, or if your wages are otherwise unfair, you should consider seeking legal counsel in order to recoup the pay. An attorney can help you determine the best course of action in order to achieve justice and claim the wages your employer owes you.

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