In the United States, most workers are protected by various state and federal employment laws that governing things such as discrimination in the workplace, overtime pay, and minimum wages. If you have been in the workforce for more than a few years you have already seen the federal minimum wage change at least once. This may lead you to the question “ When is the next minimum wage increase? ”
At the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, is where the minimum wage requirement is found. The FLSA was enacted back in 1938 after several unsuccessful attempts at establishing a mandatory minimum wage. Back at that time, the minimum wage was set at $0.25 per hour. Since then, the minimum wage has been increased many times, most recently in 2009 pursuant to the Fair Minimum Wage Act, or FMWA, of 2007. The FMWA called for a three step process that brought the federal minimum wage to its current rate of $7.25 per hour for most workers.
At his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama called for the minimum wage to be increased to $10.10 per hour and, in support of his call to raise the minimum wage he signed an Executive Order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for workers on new federal service contracts. Later that year, Congress debated the Minimum Wage Fairness Act which included the $10.10 per hour increase to the minimum wage; however, the Act did not gain enough support for passage. Although there is a significant and vocal movement in support of raising the minimum wage, there are no concrete plans to do so in the near future at the federal level unless another version of the Minimum Wage Fairness Act manages to make it through Congress.
Individual states, however, may also establish a minimum wage. In the State of Florida, for example, the minimum wage as of January 1, 2015 is set at $8.05 per hour. Moreover, in Florida the minimum wage is linked to the consumer price index, meaning the minimum wage increases automatically each year based on increases to the consumer price index. Therefore, most workers in Florida will see a minimum wage increase each January.
[2018 UPDATE] – In Florida, as of Jan 1, 2018, the labor laws have been updated the tipped minimum wage of $8.25 per hour (including tips). The maximum tip credit has been updated to $3.02, requiring tipped employees to be paid a cash wage of at least $5.23 per hour after application of the maximum credit.
If you have additional questions or concerns about the federal or state minimum wage laws, or if you believe your employer has violated the law by not paying you the appropriate per hour rate, contact the experienced Florida employment law attorneys at Celler Legal, P.A. by calling 954-716-8601 to schedule your appointment.