New Year, New Laws on Wages
Florida’s Minimum Wage Increases
Florida’s minimum wage rate increased 12 cents to $8.05 per hour and $5.03 for tipped employees, effective January 1, 2015. One of only nine states with a regular minimum wage adjustment, Florida recalculates its minimum wage each year on September 30 based upon the Consumer Price Index. The increased wage applies to all employees who are covered by the federal minimum wage. The impact on Florida wages in 2015 is expected to be about $61.1 million.
In contrast, federal minimum wage rate has not increased since 2007 and remained at $7.25 per hour and $2.13 for tipped employees. Florida is one of twenty states with minimum wages above the federal minimum wage.
Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Increases
Also effective January 1, 2015, is the new minimum wage for federal contractors with contracts formed after January 1, 2015. The new rate is $10.10 for hourly workers and $4.90 for certain tipped workers.
Federal Employees Receive 1% Pay Raise
Federal employees received a 1% pay raise in 2015, as a result of Executive Order 13686, signed by President Obama on December 19, 2014. While the 1% pay raise also applies to uniformed military service members, it does not apply to Congress, political appointees, the Vice President, and the President.
Stricken: Rule Extending FLSA Wages to Home Care Workers
Just ten days before it was expected to take effect, the Department of Labor’s rule to extend minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to most home care workers effective January 1, 2015, was struck down by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The rule had been issued despite a 40 year congressional exemption and more recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that found employees paid by third parties were within the companionship services exemption from the FLSA. The court found that the DOL had overstepped its authority and “amazingly decided to try to do administratively what others had failed to achieve in the judiciary or Congress.”