Minimum Wage

There is a push to increase minimum wage to $15 an hour on several fronts. The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association opposes such a drastic increase as it would be devastating to the hospitality industry, which is critical in the Sunshine State. Stay tuned to this page for the latest updates regarding the fight.


Proposed Measures

HR 582 (U.S. House)

This proposal would raise the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2024 and would completely eliminate the tip credit. It passed the U.S. House on July 18, 2019, and will move on to the U.S. Senate for consideration there.

Citizen Ballot Initiative in Florida

A group of Florida citizens is working to place a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot. This initiative does not address the tip credit, which is currently frozen by the state’s constitution at $3.02 an hour. If passed, this amendment would result in a $15/hour minimum wage and an $11.98 required cash wage by 2026.

 

Table describing proposed minimum wage increases


Frequently Asked Questions

Why does FRLA oppose a $15/hour minimum wage? Don’t you think employees should be well-paid?

FRLA knows that our state’s hospitality workers are literally the face of the tourism industry, and they are the ones who create memorable experiences that keep visitors coming back for generations. We believe they deserve fair and competitive wages. However, a 77% increase in labor cost is not sustainable for any business, and we want to protect hospitality jobs. In order to address such dramatic cost increases, businesses will cut employee hours and increase automation.

 

Florida’s hospitality industry is strong. Will $15/hour really force all businesses to close?

All businesses? Certainly not. But in order to keep doors open, business owners will be forced to make changes to accommodate a 77% increase in labor costs. These changes include:

  • Reducing the number of employees
  • Reducing the number of hours employees work
  • Increasing automation in place of employees
  • Increasing costs for customers
  • Replacing tipped employees with hourly employees
  • Eliminating entry-level positions

 

How do you expect workers to support a family on $8.46/hour?

Minimum wage jobs are often entry-level positions, and they therefore earn a training wage. These jobs are designed for those entering the workforce, learning the craft, building skills and opening doors for future opportunities. Through initiative and hard work, most entry-level employees quickly advance beyond the minimum wage.

 

Tipped employees in Florida only make $5.44/hour. No one can survive off that.

Most tipped employees earn far more than the minimum wage of $8.46/hour, and many make more than $15/hour. If a mandatory $15/hour minimum wage is passed, businesses will move away from a tipped employee and towards automation or hourly employees.

 

How can I talk about this with my employees?

FRLA is holding forums around the state, and we are actively working to help employers discuss this topic. You can find some talking points here.


Minimum Wage in the News

Michael Saltsman: $15 Minimum Wage Hurting (Not Helping) Restaurants, Workers as More States Prepare to Hike November 19, 2019

John Morgan’s Minimum Wage Amendment Will Cost People Jobs and Benefits November 13, 2019

DeSantis: Minimum Wage Constitutional Amendment Will Devastate the Restaurant Industry October 30, 2019

Millionaire Fighting for Higher Minimum Wage: “I have one last crusade in me.” October 17, 2019

Target Cuts Workers’ Hours After Vowing to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 by 2020 October 14, 2019

How the $15-an-hour Minimum Wage Will Hurt the People It’s Supposed to Help October 7, 2019

Hospitality Industry Head Carol Dover Says Minimum Wage Was Never Intended To Be a Living Wage October 3, 2019

Jeffrey Schofield: Don’t Believe False Promises on $15 Minimum Wage October 2, 2019

Hotel and Restaurant Trade Group ‘Deeply Offended’ by John Morgan’s ‘Slave Wages’ Comparison September 30, 2019

What Happened When These Places Raised the Minimum Wage to $15 September 25, 2019

Florida Minimum Wage Measure Tops 700,00 Signatures September 20, 2019

What a $15 Minimum Wage Would Mean for the Restaurant Industry September 19, 2019

Raising Minimum Wage Isn’t Best Way to Boost Employe Income, Baker Institute Expert Says September 19, 2019

Servers Could be Hurt by Minimum Wage Proposal September 16, 2019

Morgan Adds $374k to Minimum Wage Effort September 10, 2019

Tip or Not: House Minimum Wage Bill Eliminates Second Tier, Ignites Age-Old Debate September 8, 2019

$15 Minimum Wage – Apps, Order Kiosks and Robots Will Make it Irrelevant For the Fast Food Industry September 1, 2019

$15 Hour Minimum Wage, FRLA Hosts Info Session August 28, 2019

Minimum Wage Boost Concerns Restaurant Owners August 28, 2019

Former McDonald’s USA CEO: Minimum Wage Should Be ‘Determined Locally’ August 27, 2019

Fellow Lawmakers: Your Minimum Wage Bills Only Hurt Our Country August 27, 2019

As Minimum Wages Rise, Hotels, Industrial, Retail are Feeling the Pressure August 25, 2019

If Restaurant Servers Get a Minimum Wage Hike, Should You Still Tip 20 Percent? August 20, 2019

Lenny Rosenberg, Restaurant Industry Guru, Discusses the “Minimum Wage Twilight Zone” August 19, 2019

John Morgan Adds $1M to Florida Minimum Wage Fight August 12, 2019

Adjust Minimum Wage Bill: The Legislation is Necessary But Needs Tweaks August 11, 2019

NYC Restaurant Owners Cut Staff, Raise Prices to Counter $15 Minimum Wage August 9, 2019

Minimum Wage Messes with Market Conditions August 8, 2019

New York City Businesses Struggle to Keep Up After $15 Minimum Wage Increase August 6, 2019

Why Minimum Wage Laws Are Inside Out and Upside Down August 3, 2019

Higher Minimum Wage or Unemployed? August 2, 2019

Should the Federal Minimum Wage be Raised to $15 Per Hour? August 2, 2019

The Complexities of the $15 Minimum Wage August 1, 2019

Raising the Minimum Wage Sounds Simple. It Isn’t. August 1, 2019

$15-an-Hour Florida Minimum Wage? Amendments Would Bring Big Changes July 29, 2019

The Dream of a $15 Minimum Wage Gets a Reality Check From Inflation July 27, 2019

The False Promise of the Minimum Wage Hike July 27, 2019

$15 Minimum Wage Won’t Reverse Growing Inequality July 26, 2019

House Votes to Raise Minimum Wage, McConnell Stifles it in Senate July 25, 2019

Minimum Wage Hikes Hurt Those They’re Supposed to Help July 25, 2019

A $15 Minimum Wage Would Drown Middle America July 24, 2019

John Morgan Launches Full-Throated Campaign for Minimum Wage Amendment July 23, 2019

Stossel: Minimum Wage Hurts Beginners July 23, 2019

The Folly and Trade-Offs of Raising the Federal Minimum Wage July 19, 2019

A Huge Majority of Americans Want a $15 Minimum Wage, But They Waver After Hearing Its Economic Impact July 18, 2019

Celebrity Chef Rocco DiSpirito: $15 Minimum Wage is a ‘Real Conundrum’ for Everyone July 18, 2019

The Unintended Consequences of Raising Minimum Wage To $15 July 10, 2019

$15 Minimum Wage Would Reduce Poverty Cost but Cost Jobs, Congress Told in Report July 8, 2019

Minimum Wage Ballot Effort Raises Concern June 26, 2019

A $15 an Hour Minimum Wage? The Hospitality Industry Simply Cannot Afford It June 25, 2019

The $15 Minimum Wage Will Put Me Out of Business June 21, 2019

$15 Minimum Wage Sparks A Jobs Recession in New York February 20, 2019

Restaurateurs Are Scrambling to Cut Service and Raise Prices After Minimum Wage Hike February 19, 2019


What is FRLA doing to address the threat to our industry?

FRLA is actively engaging with state and industry leaders on this issue, ensuring that they clearly understand the impact on both our industry and our state. In addition, we are:

  • Actively communicating with members and potential members via email, mail, social media, and telephone
  • Hosting round-table discussions around the state
  • Writing to our legislative delegation to ensure they hear how these proposals will impact the hospitality industry
  • Forging partnerships with other industries who will also be negatively impacted by a $15/hour minimum wage
  • Assembling a task force to help educate the public about the negative effects of a $15/hour minimum wage
  • Hosting minimum wage experts at FRLA meetings
  • Writing op-eds for news outlets across the state