Employers, Prepare for Payroll Changes

Effective January 1, 2012, Florida’s minimum wage will increase $.36 to $7.67 per hour and $4.65 per hour for tipped employees. Employer taxes will be reduced by 10 percent, and the maximum duration of unemployment compensation will adjust from 26 weeks to a range of 12 to 23 weeks.

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity is required to calculate a minimum wage rate each year based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to September 1.

Employers must pay their employees the hourly state minimum wage for all hours worked in Florida. If not, employees may bring civil action against the employer and the state attorney general may also bring enforcement action. If eligible for the tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers of tipped employees may consider tips as wages; however, employers must pay a direct wage of $4.65 per hour.

In addition to the federal requirement to post a notice of the federal minimum wage, employers of minimum wage employees must post a minimum wage notice in a visible and accessible place on work premises. For the FLSA information and compliance assistance poster, click here. For the minimum wage posters, click English or Spanish, and for the United States Department of Economic Opportunity federal posters, click here.

As part of Florida’s Unemployment Compensation reform, the new law provides for a 10 percent reduction in the calculation of employers benefit experience rating effective January 1. Under the bill, the projected 2012 minimum tax rate will be $155 per employee – a projected tax savings of $51 per employee for businesses at the minimum rate, according to Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.

The maximum duration of unemployment compensation benefits will adjust to a range of 12 to 23 weeks, based upon the average unemployment rate in Florida for the three months ending September 30 of the prior year.

This change is projected to save the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund an estimated $103 million annually.

For more information regarding Unemployment Compensation, click here.

For additional resources and/or more information, visit the websites listed below: