Florida Labor Laws

Updated: 03/06/2020

Florida Minimum Wage

On January 1, 2020, the minimum wage rate for Florida became $8.56 per hour, with a tipped minimum wage of $5.54 per hour. The rate is reviewed annually based on a formula linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

USA map with Florida superimposed

Florida Combined Federal and State Kit plus Update Service

Have all of your state and federal required posters updated whenever the laws change.

History of Florida Labor Laws

Florida's first labor law was passed in 1893 and is still part of Florida law today, over 125 years later. That law protects workers from being blacklisted so that no one else would hire them. Originally titled "An Act to Prohibit Wrongful Combinations Against Workmen and to Punish the Same", it is now known as F.S.A. 833.02.

The state history has not been particularly heavy in legislation, generally preferring to leave federal requirements as the governing rule instead of tightening employment law further than federal law.

However, public opinion shifts have led to a wave of pushes for more state legislation. A series of court decisions against cities setting local minimum wages higher than the current state minimum wage has led to renewed interest in statewide minimum wage increases.

A ballot initiative is scheduled for a vote as a state constitutional amendment that, if passed, would change the way the minimum wage is set. The goal of the legislation is to allow raising the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.

Municipality Minimum Wage Laws

Court opinions from 2016 to 2019 have held that cities cannot set local minimum wage rates in Florida.

Miami Beach set a higher citywide minimum wage in 2016 that would have raised the minimum wage rate to $13.31 per hour by 2021. However, two courts overturned the ordinance, finding that state law does not allow cities to set local minimum wages. The Florida State Supreme Court later refused to hear the case.

Florida Minimum Wage Law Exemptions

Although the Florida minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage (as of January 2020), Florida wage law explicitly defers to federal exempt and non-exempt employee definitions in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

This reliance on federal law means that FLSA exemptions apply without additional restrictions set by the state. Exempt employees may include executive, administrative, professional, outside salespeople, and computer workers receiving salaries within minimums dictated by the FLSA.

Under the FLSA, employees are not exempt just because they are paid on a salary basis. Additional requirements may outline duties performed, compensation style (fee, salary, commission, etc.), and an alternative minimum compensation amount instead of the minimum wage.

For example, the FLSA states that administrative employees must receive at least $455 per week under exemption requirements.

Florida Posting Requirements

In addition to required federal posters including minimum wage, workers' compensation, and child labor laws, Florida employers are required to post the state minimum wage information, a notice on the Florida Reemployment assistance program (RT-83), and a Florida anti-discrimination notice.

Required Posters:

  • Minimum Wage
  • Fair Employment
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Child Labor

Tipped Wage in Florida

Florida's tipped wage law requires that tipped employees make the same minimum wage as other workers but allows a tip credit to be taken, effectively lowering the minimum wage for tipped employees in many cases.

Florida allows tipped employees to be paid a lower minimum wage rate of $5.54 per hour plus tips as of January 1, 2020.

This lower minimum wage rate is called the direct wage amount. In order for Florida employers to take a tip credit toward wages paid, the employer must qualify under federal FLSA rules.

As with other tip credit states and federal law, although the base minimum wage rate is lower, employers are required to ensure that the total of the tipped minimum wage (direct wage) plus tips received equals at least the normal minimum wage rate ($8.56 as of 2020).

If a tip pool is used, employees should be notified in advance of the tip pool and the details of how the tip pool works. As with federal law, employees who can participate together in a tip pool are restricted. These restrictions ensure that tips are not distributed to those who would normally not be considered tipped employees. Tip pools further would not combine employees in different types of service chains.

Overtime Wage in Florida

Florida defers to federal FLSA rules for overtime with few exceptions.

As with federal requirements, Florida requires employers pay workers time and a half of the employee's normal pay rate for those hours worked over 40 hours in one workweek.

However, Florida does additionally require that overtime (time and a half) rates apply to any hours worked over 10 in a single workday. If a written contract, such as for workers who have standard shifts longer than 10 hours but work fewer days in a week, exists, the terms of that contract may override the 10-hour overtime threshold.

For salaried workers who are not federally exempt from overtime pay, regular base pay is usually calculated by dividing the salary rate as if it were paid on a 40-hour weekly basis to get an effective hourly rate. Regular base pay for employees earning multiple pay rates, such as those paid one rate on weekends and another on weekdays, would include an average of the various pay rates, not merely the lower rate of pay.

Following FLSA rules, double time is not required on holiday or night hours. Exemptions to overtime pay follow federal FLSA guidelines as well.

Child Labor Laws in Florida

Florida restricts the hours available to be worked and the total hours worked by minors according to age.

Certain jobs are also deemed too hazardous for minor employment. Florida law splits these categories as jobs too hazardous for those under age 18 and those under age 16.

Examples of hazardous job conditions include ladders over 6 feet tall, radioactive material, meat packing, sawmills and spray painting.

Florida's child labor law generally follows federal law, which considers age 14 (outside of agricultural work) to be a minimum age for employment. Florida law generally prohibits employment to anyone age 13 or younger with some exceptions. Those aged 10 or younger may not engage in selling or delivering newspapers.

However, Florida makes provision for minors in specific jobs. The state allows people of any age to participate in the entertainment industry, perform domestic work within their own homes, work on a family farm, or be a page for the state legislature.

Some minors under age 17 are not considered minors for the purpose of the Florida child labor statute. Court rulings, service in the military, marriage, and high school graduation (or GED) status may exempt a minor from qualifying for child labor restrictions.

However, these exemptions are not automatic across all limits, so a person under age 17 may be restricted by part of the Florida child labor rules but not restricted by other regulations under the statute.

Most of the hourly restrictions revolve around ensuring minors do not have a work/school conflict. Minors under age 18 may be exempt from these hour limits if specific conditions are met. School exceptions may include graduating high school, receiving an equivalency certificate (GED), or obtaining an exemption certificate from the school superintendent.

Additional exemptions include suffering hardship or family emergency needs, if the minor works as a page in the state legislature, is employed by his parents, or is engaged in domestic work in a private home.

Minors under age 16, in addition to daily (3 hour) and weekly (15 hour) limits during school, may not work before 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. on a school day or the day before a school day.

Further, in addition to not working during school hours, they can not work before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. when school is not in session, although daily (8 hours) and weekly (40 hours) limits are increased for that time.

Those 16 to 17 years old also have daily (8 hours) and weekly (30 hours) limits during school sessions as well as times of day they can work. When school is in session, on days of school or when school is scheduled the next day, those 16 and 17 can not work before 6:30 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m., or during school hours. If enrolled in a career program, they may be allowed to work during some part of the school day.

All minors under age 18 are restricted from working more than six consecutive days in a week. Florida minors under age 17 must be given at least a 30-minute meal break any time they work 4 hours or more.

Employer Recordkeeping Requirements

Florida, as with much of its employment law, defers to federal rules for most recordkeeping requirements.

Most recordkeeping required is from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which requires records for non-exempt employees covered by FLSA to be kept for at least three years.

In addition to federal recordkeeping requirements, Florida requires certain recordkeeping to be done by employers. While federal rules require new hire reporting, Florida requires a state-specific new hire form that must be reported to the Florida New Hire Reporting Center within 20 days of the employee's start date.

In addition to covering first-time new employees to the company, this rule also applies to rehired and recalled employees. For rehired or recalled employees (such as from a layoff), new hire reports must be filed if there has been more than a 60-day break in employment. Independent contractors are not considered employees to be reported.

Recent Florida Labor Law Updates

Minimum Wage - Mandatory - October 2019

Updated to reflect the new minimum wage rate of $8.56 per hour effective January 1, 2020. The direct rate minimum wage rate for tipped employees (before tips) will increase to $5.54 per hour.

Reemployment Assistance Program - Minor - October 2019

The Unemployment Compensation Program has been renamed the Reemployment Assistance Program. To be eligible for benefits, employees must:

  • Apply for benefits and register for work online using the new web addresses listed
  • Have a history of sufficient employment and wages

Minimum Wage - Mandatory - October 2018

Updated to reflect new wage rates for 2019. Effective on January 1, 2019, the minimum wage rate will increase to $8.46 per hour, and the tipped minimum wage rate will increase to $5.44 per hour.

Workers' Compensation - Minor - March 2018

Workers' Compensation: Updated to reflect a new web address for reporting workers' compensation fraud.

Florida Labor Law Frequently Asked Questions

Florida Combined Federal and State Kit plus Update Service

Have all of your state and federal required posters updated whenever the laws change.