Florida’s minimum wage has increased to $7.31 per hour.  The direct wage for tipped employees increased to $4.29 per hour.  The six-cent increase is the result of a successful lawsuit brought by a group of Florida workers against the government claiming that it miscalculated the state minimum wage under the state constitution.

While 6 cents does not seem like a big increase in the minimum wage, the cumulative effects on employers may be hefty, especially considering the litigation costs of not complying with the law.  An extra 6 cents per hour spread across an entire workforce can significantly affect a business’s bottom line.

For example, let’s take just 15 workers that work 40 hours per week at minimum wage.  That means an increase of $36 per week in wages (15 x 40 x $0.06).  Multiply that by 52 weeks and the increase is $1,872 per year in extra costs.

In the event of litigation, that back pay award could be doubled.  These “payroll” costs, however, pale in comparison to the attorneys’ fees that employer may have to pay for a lawsuit brought by an unpaid employee.

Employers must post a new minimum wage poster, which can be found at http://www.floridajobs.org/minimumwage/index.htm.  This poster requirement is in addition to the federal requirement to post a notice of the federal minimum wage.