During this week’s City Commission meeting (to be held on Wednesday, 10/28), the City will advance an ordinance regarding providing all City employees with a living wage.
At a Commission workshop back in February of this year, Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton introduced this topic. According to the memo issued by City Manager Michael Cernech on October 5, a living wage is defined as “a theoretical income level that allows an individual or family to afford adequate shelter, food, and the other necessities. The goal of a living wage is to allow employees to earn enough income for a satisfactory standard of living and to prevent them from falling into poverty.”
Tamarac’s draft ordinance, presented October 5, states in part that “All full and part time employees of the City shall be paid a living wage, which is the minimum hourly income that the City Commission determines to be necessary for an individual to support himself or herself and to pay basic living expenses such as food, medical care, housing and transportation costs. The living wage shall be determined by the City Commission by resolution. The City Commission may amend the living wage annually, subject to collective bargaining, if required.”
Minimum Wage Varies from State to State
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Florida’s current minimum wage is $8.56 an hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Several state minimum wages are lower than Florida’s; for example, Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15 an hour and only applies to employers who employ six or more people. Louisiana has no minimum wage.
Some states have additional rules regarding minimum wage. In Missouri, for example, “In addition to the exemption for federally covered employment, the law exempts, among others, employees of a retail or service business with gross annual sales or business done of less than $500,000. Premium pay [is] required after 52 hours in seasonal amusement or recreation businesses.”
In all states, however, “Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the current Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.”
Broward County Minimum Wage Requirements
Broward County has a plethora of information about its minimum wage requirements; you can view the poster here. In a nutshell:
“Broward County service contractors’ employees and subcontractors performing covered services pursuant to applicable County contracts must be paid at least the following living wage hourly rates: $13.47per hour with qualifying health benefits amounting to at least $1.65(a) per hour, or $15.12 per hour without health benefits.”
Minimum Wages in American Samoa: A Special Case
Interestingly, American Samoa has a specific set of rules governing minimum wage; these amounts are set by industry rather than company size. As of September 30, 2018, for example, the minimum wage for those working in the ship maintenance industry in American Samoa is $5.81 an hour; finance and insurance industry workers must be paid at least $6.29. There’s even a special poster with the various rates per industry.
On the November 3 Ballot: A Constitutional Amendment to Increase the Florida Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour by 2026
According to Ballotpedia, this Amendment (Amendment 2) “would increase the state minimum wage from $8.56 in 2020 to $15.00 in 2026. Under Amendment 2, the state minimum wage would increase each year as follows:
- $10.00 on September 30, 2021;
- $11.00 on September 30, 2022;
- $12.00 on September 30, 2023;
- $13.00 on September 30, 2024;
- $14.00 on September 30, 2025; and
- $15.00 on September 30, 2026.
Beginning on September 30, 2027, there would be an annual adjustment to the state minimum wage based on increases to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).”
To learn more about Tamarac’s living wage amendment, visit https://tamarac.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/Coversheet.aspx?ItemID=8744&MeetingID=779.