Florida’s current minimum wage rate is $8.65.
In November 2020, Florida voters approved a measure allowing for incremental increases to the minimum wage. The next increase, to $10 per hour, is supposed to take effect in September 2021. Regardless of the amount, your employer cannot pay you less than minimum wage as long as you are eligible.
Here’s something else to keep in mind. At this point, Florida’s minimum wage prevails because it is higher than the minimum wage rate prescribed by federal law. Even so, businesses risk violating the federal laws pertaining to minimum wage by taking certain actions. Specifically, companies are in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) if they cause an employee’s hourly pay rate to fall below the minimum wage by:
- Mandating that workers complete assignments by a deadline “off the clock.”
- Forcing workers to engage in job-related tasks during lunch and other breaks, while “the clock” reflects they have taken this time off.
For more information on Florida’s minimum wage laws, visit our Florida Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
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Florida labor laws do not include rules governing the payment of overtime. Instead, federal overtime laws apply. In general, these laws provide the following for covered workers.
First, the employer must provide compensation in the form of extra pay for any time worked after the first 40 hours in any given workweek. This compensation, called overtime, must be made at a specified rate. This rate is equal to or greater than time and one-half their regular pay rate. So, an employee who earns $10 per hour for the first 40 hours in a workweek would get at least $15 per hour for time worked after the 40th hour.
Second, all provisions in federal overtime laws are based on the following definition of a workweek: a regular cycle comprising 168 hours or seven straight 24-hour periods. It does not have to match the calendar week. Instead, it may begin on any day and at any time. An employer can create different workweeks for different employees or groups of employees.
Exempt workers do not receive overtime. Under the FLSA, exempt workers are executives, or those who hold administrative or other professional positions. Additional criteria apply.
See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.
Florida does not have a prevailing wage law that governs wage rates on government project or service contracts.
Under certain circumstances, employers in Florida may be required to pay residents wage rates established by federal prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the federal and state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain government services. See the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.
Meals and Breaks
Florida labor laws require employers to grant a meal period of at least 30 minutes to employees under the age of 18 who work for more than 4 hours continuously. FL Statute 450.081(4).
Florida does not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees 18 years of age or older, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than 20 minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually 30 minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.
Nursing Mother Breaks
Florida labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.
The provision of paid vacation time for employees is not a requirement under Florida labor laws. Even so, most private sector employers do provide vacation as a “perk” or benefit for full-time employees. Relevant policies are usually documented in an employee handbook or similar manual. It is up to individual employers to adhere to any such policies or risk legal action.
That being stated, employers also have certain legal rights. Among other things, an employer can create and enforce a so-called “use it or lose it” policy. This type of policy prevents employees from hoarding vacation time by mandating that they take it by a certain date or forfeit their right to use it.
Additional information about Florida vacation leave laws may now be found on our Florida Leave Laws page.
In Florida, paid sick leave is much like vacation leave. Private-sector employers are not obligated to provide it under applicable labor laws, but they can offer it if they so choose. If a private business does not offer paid sick leave, an employee may still be able to take unpaid time off in accordance with federal laws to deal with personal or family illnesses and related matters.
Information about Florida sick leave laws may now be found on our Florida Leave Laws page.
Florida officially recognizes 19 holidays. Some of these, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day and Memorial Day, are recognized throughout the U.S. Others, such as Pascua Florida Day (April 2), Robert E. Lee’s birthday (January 19) and Jefferson Davis’s birthday (June 3) are unique to certain states or regions. In any case, there is no Florida regulation mandating that private sector employers give their workers any holidays off with or without pay. However, Floridians working in the public sector do get these days off with compensation.
Information about Florida holiday leave laws may now be found on our Florida Leave Laws page.
Jury Duty Leave
Jury Duty is one of those civic duties that most people dread. However, fulfilling this requirement is a legitimate excuse to take off of work. Accordingly, Florida law mandates that employers allow employees to take time off for this purpose. It also precludes them from threatening to fire someone who is called to appear for jury duty or for serving on a jury.
Information about Florida jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Florida Leave Laws page.
In the private sector, allowing employees to take time away from work to vote in local, state or federal elections is discretionary. Even without an applicable regulation or labor laws mandating that they do so, many employers do allow employees to take time off to vote. However, they can — and often do — restrict the amount of time allowed way from work to vote.
Information about Florida voting leave laws may now be found on our Florida Leave Laws page.
Florida labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Under certain circumstances, Florida residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Florida State Unemployment Benefits.