In January 2015, the Florida legislature increased minimum wage to $8.05. Although the concept of minimum wage is easily understood (employers must compensate non-exempt employees at an hourly rate of at least $8.05) the law becomes more difficult when applied to tipped wage earners.
Who Are Tipped Wage Earners?
Tipped wage earners are defined as those who customarily receive $30 or more per month in tips.
What Does the Law Say?
In Florida, employers are allowed to count an employee's tips towards meeting the minimum wage requirement. However there is still a requirement that an employer pay an employee the "tipped minimum wage" of $5.03 per hour.
What is a Tip Credit?
You may have heard the term "tip credit" being used in reference to tipped wage earners. The tip credit is the amount of an employee's tips that an employer may use to fulfill the minimum wage requirement. So in 2015, an employer is required to pay a tipped wage earner at least $5.03 per hour. The employer may then use $3.02 of the employee's tips to satisfy the $8.05 minimum age requirement.
What if I Didn't Earn Enough In Tips to Meet Minimum Wage?
If an employee does not earn equivalent to $3.02 per hour in tips, the employer is required to compensate the employee in an amount that will bring the employee's hourly wage to at least $8.05 per hour.
Most employees in Florida are required to be paid at least $8.05 per hour. When it comes to tipped employees, employers are allowed to use some of the tips to satisfy the $8.05 requirement. If you believe that your employer is under compensating you, contact an employment attorney to assist you with that matter.