Hospitality businesses in Florida must pay their employees a minimum of $6.98 an hour. But one Florida-based restaurant has been called out for not providing this basic right to its workers. Rosy’s Mexican Restaurant forced its employees to work for tips alone and failed to pay overtime. So, just what rights do individuals working for businesses like this have?
A Department of Labor investigation concluded that Rosy’s Mexican Restaurant owed more than $118,000 in unpaid wages to its workers. As of September 2021, tipped employees must earn at least $6.98 per hour, providing their tips push this up to $10.00 per hour or more. If their tips don’t meet this threshold, the employer must make up the difference. By 2026, a tipped employee’s minimum wage will rise to $15.00 per hour, with employers having to pay at least $11.98 to their workers.
The minimum wage was introduced to protect workers and to ensure they’re fairly compensated for their role in society. It also looks after people’s health and well-being by allowing them to earn enough money so they can have an acceptable standard of living. Employers should also safeguard their worker’s health and well-being by providing workers compensation. In hospitality businesses, injuries such as burns, falls, and cuts are common. Florida worker’s comp allows the worker to receive a disability benefit to cover lost wages. This means they can continue to support themselves until they are well enough to return to work.
Fair pay for all
There are some workers who aren’t fairly compensated for the work they do, including people of Black, Latino, and Asian descent, and women. The minimum wage hopes to reduce these racial and gender inequalities. This is needed as research shows that 40% of tipped workers are Black, Latino, or Asian. Tipped black women typically earn $5.00 less per hour than tipped white men, too. When Florida introduced a minimum wage of $10.00 for tipped workers, it wanted to give all workers a wage they could comfortably live off. So, the fact that a local restaurant has been found to not be doing its best for its workers is a real blow.
All employees have the right to fair and equal pay for the work they do. If there are local businesses not compensating their workers correctly, they must be called out and legal action considered.