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Miami Employment Attorney
Has Your Employer Failed to Pay the Minimum Wage?
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the federal minimum wage in
effect throughout the United States since January 1, 2013 is $7.25/hour.
However, in Florida, where State law
allows employees to seek the recovery of unpaid minimum wages going back
as far as five (5) years, covered employers are required to pay a higher minimum wage.
As of January 1, 2015, the minimum wage in Florida is $8.05/hour. Likewise,
over the past several years, the previous minimum wage rates in Florida
were: (i) 2014: $7.93/hour; (ii) 2013: $7.79/hour; (iii) 2012: $7.67/hour;
(iv) 2011: $7.31/hour; and (v) 2010: $7.25/hour
Understanding the “Tip Credit”
Under the FLSA, tipped employees are defined as workers who
customarily and regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips. The law provides that tips are the sole property of an employee. As a
result, employers are prohibited from using an employee’s tips for
any reason other than as a credit against the employer’s minimum
wage obligation to the employee (known as the “tip credit”)
or in furtherance of a valid tip pool. Only tips actually received by
the employee may be counted in determining whether the employee is a tipped
employee and in applying the tip credit.
The FLSA permits employers to take a “tip credit” against its
minimum wage obligations for tipped employees in an amount that is equal
to the difference between the required cash wage (which must be at least
$2.13) and the federal minimum wage. As a result, the maximum “tip
credit” that an employer can currently claim under the FLSA is $5.12/hour
(the federal minimum wage of $7.25 – the direct cash wage that must
be paid by an employer of $2.13). However,
in Florida, employers are not permitted to take a “tip credit”
greater than $3.02/hour under State law. As a result, the minimum wage that Florida employers must pay tipped employees
has to be at least $5.03/hour.
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Notice Requirements for the “Tip Credit”
Before an employer may take advantage of using the law’s “tip
credit,” the employer must provide
all of following information to its tipped employees:
- amount of cash, or direct, wages being paid by the employer;
- the amount claimed by the employer as a tip credit;
- notice that the tip credit claimed by the employer cannot exceed the amount
of tips actually received by the tipped employee;
- notice that all tips received by the tipped employee are to be retained
by the employee, except in the case of a valid tip pooling arrangement; and
- notice that the tip credit will not apply to any tipped employee unless
the employee has been informed of the law’s tip credit provisions.
Employers who fail to provide the required information about the “tip
credit” to employees cannot use the law’s tip credit provisions
and therefore must pay tipped employees at the full minimum wage while
also ensuring that employees are permitted to keep all of their tips.
Common Minimum Wage Problems Experienced by Tipped Employees in Miami
If you believe that your current employer, or any of your former employers
over the past three (3) to five (5) years, failed to comply with the law’s
minimum wage requirements, contact a Miami employment law lawyer from
the Law Office of Keith M. Stern, P.A. today for a
free case evaluation. We have the experience to protect your rights as a worker, and
Your Work Is Our Business.