Your Guide To Florida Minimum Wage: What Small Businesses Need To Know

As someone running a small business, we know how many hats you wear — sales, accounting, marketing, and HR, just to name a few. With so much going on, how can you be expected to stay up-to-date with the latest labor regulations and wage laws?

But as a Florida business owner, you need to understand how much you should be paying your employees, as well as be aware of the frequent changes made to minimum wage rates in your state. 

That’s why we created this article: To serve as a guide to everything you need to know about minimum wage in Florida. Plus, we give you tips on how you can ensure you’re always staying compliant when running payroll. 

Understanding minimum wage laws in Florida

They don’t just exist for the sake of existing — minimum wage laws are in place to protect workers from unfair low pay. Each state has its own minimum wage laws, which vary depending on factors like average rent and cost of living. 

In Florida, for example, the minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. There are also no local jurisdictions in Florida with their own minimum wage rate, meaning employers are required to pay the same wages to employees in Jacksonville as they would in Key West. 

Note that these minimum wage rates are applicable to non-exempt employees. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outlines which employees are exempt from minimum wage, such as farmworkers, employees who work in fishing, and staff at certain seasonal and recreational establishments. 

There are also different minimum wage rates for employees under the age of 20, as well as students. Plus, tipped workers are subject to a different minimum wage than staff who don’t receive tips. 

If you have both exempt and non-exempt employees working for you, staff that receive tips, or young and student workers, it can be hard to keep track of the wages each of your team members are owed.

That’s why it’s important to use a payroll tool like Homebase that automatically calculates the correct wages and taxes for all your staff, no matter what their role or age. 

For more in-depth information about labor laws in your state, check out our Florida employment law guide.  
Screenshot of the Homebase payroll tool

Current minimum wage rates

As of September 30, 2023, the minimum wage rate for standard hourly workers in Florida is $12 per hour. However, that rate isn’t applicable to all employees. Take a look at the differences for tipped employees, staff under the age of 20, student workers, and employees who work overtime hours:  

Tipped employees Employees under the age of 20 Student employees Overtime workers
Florida employers can take a tip credit of up to $3.02 per hour for tipped employees, meaning the minimum hourly cash wage for eligible tipped employees is $8.98 per hour. FLSA guidelines permit employers to pay employees under the age of 20 $4.25 per hour during the first 90 calendar days of employment, after which they must raise their pay to reflect standard minimum wage requirements.  Certain Florida employers are permitted to pay full-time students who are enrolled in  85% of the standard minimum wage, coming to $10.20 per hour for up to 20 hours of work per week.   Overtime pay applies to employees who work over 40 hours a week. This rate is 1.5 times normal pay, bringing overtime minimum wage in Florida to $18 per hour. (For tipped workers, overtime minimum wage is $14.98 per hour.)

As you’ll note, employers with tipped workers are allowed to take a $3.02 tip credit, meaning they can pay their tipped employees, like waitstaff and bartenders, less than $9 per hour.

And, as we mentioned above, there’s no variation in minimum wage across the state of Florida — rates are the same regardless of which county or city you operate in. 

Recent changes and updates

Florida’s minimum wage rates have been steadily increasing over the past few years. That’s because back in 2020, residents voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026. 

Rates have increased every year since 2021, when the minimum wage was below $9 per hour, and will continue to increase until September 30, 2026, when the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour. At that point, the minimum wage will increase annually in line with inflation rates. 

So while the Florida minimum wage was $11 per hour before September 30, 2023, it is now $12 per hour. This increase also applies to tipped employees (who previously received $7.98 per hour and now receive $8.98) and overtime wages (which were previously $16.50 per hour and are now $18). 

The importance of complying with and implementing minimum wage laws (and how to do so)

Screenshot of Homebase time tracking-overtime feature

Complying with labor laws isn’t just the right thing to do: It’s necessary if you want to avoid costly consequences. Employees who don’t receive the wages they’re entitled to can take legal action against their employer in an attempt to gain back lost wages, plus attorney fees and damages. 

Plus, if an employer is found to have intentionally or repeatedly violated these wage laws, they may face civil penalties, fines, and even imprisonment. That’s why it’s so essential to keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid, always ensuring you’re up-to-date on the latest regulations. 

Here are some steps you can take to ensure you’re always complying with minimum wage and overtime regulations.

Stay up to date with the latest changes

Labor laws are in constant flux — for example, the Florida minimum wage increases each year. So to avoid any consequences, stay up to date on any new regulations or modifications to existing laws. 

A tool like Homebase, with its HR and compliance feature and compliance toolkit, can help you do this. That’s because we notify you when labor laws change in your state or at the federal level, and help you ensure you’re correctly following national, state, and local regulations. 

Use a payroll tool that helps you stay compliant

If you’re still manually tracking payroll, it’s hard to keep track of what wages each employee is due and make sure you’re paying them the right amount. That’s why you want to use a tool like Homebase that automates your payroll process and ensures employees are getting the correct wages. 

The platform instantly converts timesheets into wages and hours so you don’t make any mistakes when running payroll. Plus, you can assign certain wages to certain employees, ensuring your tipped workers are getting the right amount, as well as keep track of overtime hours and make sure your people are being compensated fairly. 

Keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid

If an employee dispute arises, it’s important to have proof of payroll and time cards. So be sure you keep accurate records of the hours your employees have worked, as well as how much you paid them. 

Homebase helps you do this by storing all your timesheets and payroll records so they’re available to access whenever you need them. This helps you stay FLSA compliant and is a useful source of data when forecasting expenses and setting profit targets. 

To learn more and ensure you’re taking the right steps to stay compliant, check out our guide to paying employees

Stay compliant and pay your people the right wages with every paycheck

With annual fluctuations in minimum wage rates in Florida, you need to be on top of the latest updates to ensure you’re paying your people the right amount. Throw tipped workers and overtime pay into the mix, and things can get complicated. 

Payroll may not be the simplest part of your job, but it doesn’t have to be cumbersome or stressful either. When you use the right tool, running payroll can become a simple process that you don’t have to think twice about. 

Homebase helps you save time on payroll with its user-friendly automation features. That means no more manual data entry, and no more errors. Plus, we help you ensure you’re always paying employees what they’re owed, meaning you can stay compliant and avoid any legal issues. 

FAQs about Florida minimum wage

What is the Florida minimum wage in 2023?

The Florida minimum wage in 2023 is $12 per hour. This is the official minimum wage as of September 30, 2023. Before that date, the minimum wage in Florida was $11 per hour. All Florida employers are required to post this amount somewhere their employees can see it within their place of business. 

What is the minimum wage for tipped employees in Florida in 2023?

The Florida minimum wage in 2023 for tipped employees is $8.98. This amount is active as of September 30, 2023 (before that date, the minimum wage for tipped employees was $7.98). All Florida employers must post this amount somewhere their employees can see it within their place of business.

How can I keep track of the minimum wage in my state?

To keep track of the minimum wage in your state, you should use a payroll tool that helps you stay up to date on local laws and regulations. For example, Homebase notifies you when labor laws change at a state or federal level so you can ensure you’re always paying your workers the right wages. 

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