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.

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, teaching 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.


Minimum Wage in the News

A $15 Minimum Wage Started as a Slogan. This Week, It’s Set to Pass the House. July 15, 2019

Minimum Wage Vote Closer to 2020 Ballot After June Push July 10, 2019

Report: A $15 Minimum Wage Would Reduce Poverty, But Cost 1.3 Million Jobs July 9, 2019

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

Democrats’ $15 Minimum Wage Bill Would Eliminate 1.3 Million Jobs, CBO Finds July 8, 2019

Bean Says Raising Minimum Wage in Florida a Bad Idea July 3, 2019

Minimum Wage Increases Impacting Small Businesses July 3,2019

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


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