If you are a non-exempt worker in Florida, you should get bigger paychecks in 2019. The minimum wage is up to $8.46 from $8.25, an increase of $0.21. This 2.5 percent bump is happening because of a state constitutional amendment that determines the minimum wage based on inflation. Florida is not the only state experiencing an increase. In fact, 20 states now have a higher minimum wage.
Employers now must pay their employees at least the new hourly rate. This also impacts overtime compensation. Plus, there is a fight to raise the minimum wage even more.
New minimum wage and overtime
Not only do you deserve a higher hourly rate according to the law, but you also must receive more compensation for any hours over 40 in a workweek. As you may know, Florida law requires employers to pay time and a half for overtime work. Make sure you keep an eye on your paychecks to ensure your employer adheres to these new standards.
A push for a $15 minimum wage
There is a nationwide effort to hike the minimum wage to $15, and Florida has its own advocates and unions taking part in the push. The current proposal is to increase the wage to $10 initially, and increase it at $1 increments each year until it reaches $15. If the initiative appears on the ballot in 2020, Florida voters have a choice to pad their wallets even more.
What to do about unpaid wages
Unfortunately, not every company is honest with employees or compliant with the law. Some employers refuse to pay the minimum wage, ask employees to work without clocking in and refuse to pay employees for preparation time. These practices are illegal. If you are not receiving the rightful pay, you may be able to take action against your employer in the form of a lawsuit. A successful claim may get you double back pay and compensation for legal costs.