In a landmark decision by Florida voters in November 2020, Amendment 2 was passed.

Amendment 2 set a schedule to incrementally raise the minimum wage for hourly, non-exempt, non-tipped employees to $15 per hour by 2026.

What Have the Annual Wage Increases Been Over the Past Few Years?

As stipulated by the amendment, Florida’s minimum wage is set to increase by $1 each year on September 30. Following this schedule, the increases have been as follows:

  • In 2021, the minimum wage rose to $10 per hour.
  • In 2022, it increased to $11 per hour.
  • In 2023, the rate reached $12 per hour.

The upcoming change on September 30, 2024, will see the minimum wage rise to $13 per hour.

All Florida employers must comply with these rates, set the minimum wage for tipped employees at $7.98 plus tips.

What is a Livable Wage in Florida 2024?

As Florida’s minimum wage progresses towards $15 per hour by 2026, it’s essential to understand what constitutes a livable wage in the state as of 2024. A livable wage is generally defined as the income level that allows an individual or a family to meet their basic needs without financial assistance. The parameters for determining a livable wage include the cost of housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and other necessities, along with a modest amount for savings.

In 2024, while the state minimum wage is set to be $13 per hour, the livable wage can vary significantly based on geographic location, family size, and other factors. For example, in metropolitan areas like Miami and Tampa, the cost of living tends to be higher compared to rural areas. According to studies by economic policy groups, the estimated livable wage for a single adult without children in Florida could range from $16 to $18 per hour. In contrast, families with children generally require a substantially higher income to cover additional costs.

RTRLAW understands the challenges workers face earning near or below these wage levels, and is committed to advocating for fair compensation. If you are struggling to make ends meet or believe your wage does not reflect the legal minimums or a fair, livable wage, our attorneys are here to provide guidance and legal support to ensure your rights are upheld.

What Is Minimum Wage and How Does It Work?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), established by Congress, underpins federal minimum wage regulations at $7.25 per hour, with provisions allowing states to mandate higher wages.  The FLSA ensures that employers meet or exceed these minimum standards, while also ensuring that wages do not fall below guidelines.

Since amending the Florida Constitution in 2004 to establish a state-specific minimum wage, Florida has periodically adjusted this wage based on inflation. Here’s a detailed look at how the state minimum wage has evolved:

  • From $6.15 in 2005 up to $8.65 in 2021.
  • Following the new amendment, significant increase to $10.00 on September 30, 2021.
  • Subsequent annual increases leading to the current rate of $12.00 in 2023.

How Can an Attorney Assist an Employee Who’s Being Underpaid in Florida?

Suppose you suspect that you are not receiving the legally mandated minimum wage or are being underpaid according to the terms of your employment. In that case, it is crucial to seek professional legal advice. An experienced employment law attorney can provide several essential services:

  • Review of Your Wage Claims: Attorneys can examine your pay stubs, work hours, employment contract, and the applicable wage laws to determine if there has been a violation of state or federal regulations.
  • Guidance on Legal Rights and Options: They will inform you of your rights as an employee in Florida and outline the best course of action, whether negotiating with your employer or filing a wage claim.
  • Representation in Disputes: If your case escalates to a dispute or lawsuit, having an attorney represent you can significantly enhance your chances of a favorable outcome. Attorneys handle filing of legal documents, representation in court, and negotiations with the opposing party on your behalf.
  • Ensuring Compliance and Fair Compensation: Beyond recovering wages owed, attorneys can also help ensure employers comply with wage laws, safeguarding your future earnings.

RTRLAW’s employment law attorneys are dedicated to helping employees like you get the compensation you deserve. Underpayment of wages can significantly impact your life, and our attorneys are here to make the process of claiming what you’re owed as smooth as possible.

Future Projections and Legal Support

The minimum wage is expected to rise annually until it reaches $15 per hour in 2026. If you are an employee in Florida and believe you have been underpaid, you might be entitled to recover double the wages owed. RTRLAW’s skilled Employment Law attorneys are ready to assist with your claims and protect your rights.

For further assistance or to discuss your situation, contact RTRLAW today at 833-HIRE-RTR. You can also chat with us online or fill out our contact form to obtain a prompt response. Our attorneys are dedicated to securing the best outcome for your employment-related legal needs.