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Important Wage and Hour Laws for Employers

Wed December 5, 2012 Publications

What is the minimum wage? Effective January 1, 2013, the Florida minimum wage will increase to $7.79 per hour, a 1.5 percent increase from 2012 due to the change in the Consumer Price Index. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, the Florida minimum wage, $7.67 for 2012, is subject to annual inflation reviews and adjustments under the Florida Constitution and statutes. The adjusted Florida minimum wage, which takes effect every January 1 for the calendar year, is posted on the Agency for Workforce Innovation and the Department of Revenue websites by October 15 of each year prior to the effective date of the adjusted minimum wage. Written notice of the adjusted minimum wage and the effective date is mailed to employers registered in the unemployment compensation database by November 15 of each year.

When is overtime pay due? Generally, federal law requires payment of overtime pay, at the rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay, for all hours worked after 40 in a workweek. Certain employees are exempt from the overtime pay requirements. The most common exemptions are executive, administrative, professional, and outside sale employees who meet certain salary, duties and responsibilities requirements. To avoid liability, the employer needs to ensure that employees treated as exempt are properly classified, accurate records of employees’ hours of work are kept, and wage deductions to not reduce wages below the minimum wage and overtime requirements.

What are the child labor restrictions on hours of work? Minors are subject to heightened standards, including restricted time and hours of work, under both federal and Florida law. Minors under thirteen may not work except in the Florida Legislature as a page, in the entertainment industry, or in domestic or farm work for their parents or guardian. Fourteen and fifteen year olds may work up to fifteen hours per week while sixteen and seventeen year olds may work up to thirty hours per week. There are additional restrictions on the time of day and number of hours per day and per week that minors may work while school is in session. And, no minor may work more than four hours without a 30 minute meal period.