It’s highly unlikely that any employer will pay less than minimum wage, but if they do, you will need to see if it’s legal for them to do so. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25, but many states have their own minimums that are higher than this.
In Florida, the current minimum wage is $8.25 for most employees. On Sept. 30, 2021, that grows to $10 per hour. Tipped staff may be paid $5.23 before that date and $6.98 after.
Employers sometimes try to find loopholes to pay less than minimum wage, but those are few and far between. Florida employers may not pay you less than the minimum wage unless you are in a position that is exempt, such as if you are a minor or young worker in the first 90 days of employment.
What do employers have to pay workers during their first 90 days?
In Florida, the student minimum wage is $7.35 and applies to all full-time college or high school students working part-time. This pay scale is allowed for up to 20 hours of the week at work-study programs or in other specific circumstances (not all employers qualify).
Florida also has an under 20 minimum wage. This allows employers to pay training employees under the age of 20 $4.25 for each hour during their first three months (90 days) of employment.
What should you do if you don’t think you’ve been paid correctly?
Mistakes are made, so if you believe that you weren’t paid based on the right pay scale, then you should talk to your employer as soon as possible. Keep records of your work hours and the payments that you’ve received. If you don’t see how the hours and your pay line up, it’s reasonable to talk to your employer about the discrepancies.
If they dismiss your concerns or cannot explain why you’ve been paid the way you have, then it may be worth your time to look into the law and determine if you were paid the wrong amount. Your employer is bound by law to pay you the correct wages for your time, so you may have a claim.