By On behalf of The Law Offices of Roderick V. Hannah, Esq., P.A.

Some workers throughout the nation will be getting a hike in their minimum wage rates, though Florida employees are not on that list. Federal legislation may be passed that would increase minimum wage standards, but it appears that Florida lawmakers do not want to move until they are forced to do so. A federal bill that would increase the mandatory wage to $10.10 per hour has been blocked by Republicans, so the debate about employees being properly compensated has not even reached the Senate floor.

Nearly 40 states’ legislatures considered minimum wage increases during 2014, even in the wake of potential changes to federal law. More than 20 states already have higher minimum wages than the national minimum wage. Florida’s wage is adjusted for inflation, so it rose by 14 cents at the beginning of the year. A full-time worker in our state makes about $16,494 a year with minimum-wage payments.

Some states have chosen to preempt potential federal changes by increasing the minimum wage on their own. However, in the national legislature, Republicans are arguing that a wage hike would harm the fragile recovering economy. Democrats have argued that it would bolster the financial situation of the working poor.

Nearly 1,000 businesses have already bought into the minimum wage hikes, with representatives signing the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement. Even though some businesses support the change, national and state law has not yet been modified to fully accommodate employees who need it most. These workers should not be subject to wage violations, and they deserve a living wage through minimum wage hikes. Employees who have been denied their right to a minimum wage may have legal options in the state of Florida.

Source: Bradenton Herald, “Florida among states whose lawmakers didn't boost minimum wage” Laura Layden, May. 12, 2014