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Are Your Workers Subject to Minimum Wage?

On Behalf of | Dec 26, 2019 | Firm News |


For Florida employers, there are many things to consider when choosing an employee. Are they a good fit? Do they have the training and skills needed to get the job done? Will they stick around long enough to make all the lost time and training worth the investment? Among the questions many employers ask is, will this employee be subject to minimum wage?

For small businesses in south Florida, the best way to understand your rights and obligations is to consult an employment law attorney near you. Consider the following pointers when deciding how and when to pay employees minimum wage or overtime.

Does Federal Minimum Wage Apply to your Business? 

As a threshold matter, it’s important to figure out if your business meets the criteria for minimum wage laws to apply. If gross annual revenue is under $500,000 or you do not participate in interstate commerce, you may be okay paying below the minimum wage. But beware, “interstate commerce” has been broadly interpreted by courts. Just because you have a location in a single place and don’t physically leave the state, if you sell online or ship items to other states, there is a chance you may be subject to minimum wage requirements.

Who Gets Minimum Wage?

Beginning January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Florida is increasing to $8.65 per hour. Employers must post the appropriate updated signage listing this information. For workers who receive tips as a substantial part of their compensation, the new tip wage has been increased to $5.54 per hour.

Exceptions to Minimum Wage 

There are a number of exceptions to the minimum wage rule. If you run a small business, it’s a good idea to figure out if your employees are exempt from the rule or not. Here are just some of the examples of exempt workers who do not fall under the federal minimum wage guidelines:

Full-time students working in certain retail and hospitality jobs. They are entitled to no less than 85% of minimum wage. These student workers may not work more than 20 hours each week during school and 40 hours per week when school is not in session. As an employer, you will need to obtain permission from the U.S. Department of Labor if you wish to pay workers through this exception.

Certain executives and administrative workers. This commonly used exception applies to skilled professionals who are paid a salary. Generally, these professionals make enough that it’s not a consideration. But if they are working significant hours, there is a chance that their hourly wage would be less than the allowable minimum. Nevertheless, if they truly meet the exception, then this won’t be a problem.

Sales and Commission Workers. If your employees receive most of their income from commissions and sales activities, they are likely exempt from the federal rule as well.

Answers are Easy to Find 

There is good news for south Florida business owners who need help interpreting the panoply of state and federal rules and regulations applicable to small business. The West Palm Beach labor & employment attorneys of Pincus & Currier, LLP are here to help. Our customized employer counseling services are designed to help you make the right decision before a mistake is made. Give our firm a call today and find out how we can help.