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.
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.
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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.
Why is tipping/tip credit important?
Many struggle to understand the importance of tipping, and how it actually works. Visit WhyTippingWorks.com to explore the importance of the tipping system. You can also watch an informational video here.
Minimum Wage in the News
$15 Per Hour Federal Minimum Wage Could Cost Almost $4M Jobs January 1, 2020
$15 Minimum Wage Amendment Makes 2020 Florida Ballot December 19, 2019
Sacramento Restaurants Closing Due To Imminent Minimum Wage Increase December 15, 2019
Small Business and the Fight for $15 December 15, 2019
Minimum Wage Hikes Hurt the Poor More Than They Help December 12, 2019
Seattle’s Wage Mandate Kills Restaurants December 12, 2019
John Morgan’s Minimum Wage Amendment Will Cost People Jobs and Benefits November 13, 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
Servers Could be Hurt by Minimum Wage Proposal September 16, 2019
Morgan Adds $374k to Minimum Wage Effort September 10, 2019
$15 Hour Minimum Wage, FRLA Hosts Info Session August 28, 2019
Minimum Wage Boost Concerns Restaurant Owners August 28, 2019
Fellow Lawmakers: Your Minimum Wage Bills Only Hurt Our Country August 27, 2019
John Morgan Adds $1M to Florida Minimum Wage Fight August 12, 2019
Minimum Wage Messes with Market Conditions August 8, 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
$15 Minimum Wage Won’t Reverse Growing Inequality July 26, 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
Minimum Wage Ballot Effort Raises Concern June 26, 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