State Minimum Wage Increasing Again for 2019
Starting January 1, 2019, the Florida minimum wage will increase 21¢, from $8.25 an hour to $8.46 an hour. The cash wage for tipped employees is also increasing, from $5.23 an hour to $5.44 an hour.
With this change to the Florida minimum wage, all Florida employers will be required to display a new minimum wage poster for 2019. One of the benefits of your FUBA membership is that we provide you with all updated posters free of charge. Please look for the 2019 Florida minimum wage poster with the mailed copy of your December newsletter.
If you have any questions about the minimum wage and how it affects your business, please call the FUBA offices at 800-262-4483 and ask for Karen or Lance.
How do I Handle Overtime Pay for a Week with a Paid Holiday?
As we approach the holiday season, we wanted to remind employers about the rules for paying employees during weeks with paid holidays.
Question: During a work week that contains a holiday (like Thanksgiving or Christmas Day), if I pay my employees for 8 hours on the holiday as a part of their salary, but they do not come to work because the business is closed, do those 8 hours count towards their total hours worked and then entitle them to overtime pay if they work over 40 hours the rest of the holiday week?
Answer: The short answer is “no.” Overtime is only calculated on the hours an employee actually works. If an employee is paid but is not actually working (for example, a paid holiday, paid sick leave, etc.), that time is not counted as time at work, and those hours are not counted towards the 40-hour cap. A paid day off when your business is closed due to a holiday (8 hours in the above example) does not count as work, because the employees were given the day off and were not at work. Therefore, in a holiday week, if the employees are paid for the holiday and do not actually work that day, they are allowed to work up to 40 hours on the remaining days in that work week before being eligible to receive overtime pay.
And remember that the law does not require employers to pay their employees on work days that the business is closed, like for a holiday. Employers are only obligated to pay employees for hours they actually work, unless your company’s policy manual provides for paid holidays. This article only addresses employers who voluntarily pay employees when the business is closed.
If you have a wage and hour question, please call the FUBA offices at 800-262-4483 and ask for Karen or Lance.
Relief Available for Businesses Affected by Hurricane Michael
If your business is located in one of the 16 counties affected by the recent hurricane, there are a wide variety of resources available to you, such as extended tax filing deadlines, emergency loans, and protection for your insurance policies. The 16 counties where this relief is available are: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington. For additional information and resources on our website, please click here.
Insurance Policies Protected from Cancellation
Insurance policies are protected from being cancelled or nonrenewed until January 7, 2019, even if you are unable to pay your premium.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Individuals whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a result of the storm are eligible for unemployment benefits.
Tax Filing Deadlines Extended
The Florida Department of Revenue has extended the deadlines for businesses in the 16 affected counties to file their sales tax and reemployment taxes: tax returns and payments that were due for the September and October reporting periods are now due December 7, 2018.
Florida corporate income tax returns and corporate income tax installment payments with original due dates or extended due dates between October 7, 2018 and February 28, 2019 are now due March 15, 2019.
Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan
This interest-free loan program is available to small business owners located in designated disaster areas that experienced physical and/or economic damage as a result of these events. Small business owners can qualify for up to $50,000 per eligible business.
The Disaster Contractors Network: A Free Online Tool Connecting Contractors & Property Owners
In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, many property owners in Florida will need to hire construction contractors to repair/rebuild their property. The Disaster Contractors Network is an online tool funded by revenue from local building permits that allows contractors and building materials suppliers in Florida to get their name out to property owners needing construction services in the aftermath of storms or other natural disasters.
By registering on the Disaster Contractors Network, contractors and suppliers can advertise to the general public what type of goods and services they offer and connect with property owners needing those services in rebuilding/repairing their property after the storm. This registration is free.
If the services that a contractor provides require a state license (such as roof repairs, plumbing repairs, or electrical repairs/rewiring), the system will not allow an unlicensed contractor to register. However, the system will allow contractors performing work that does not require licensure (such as tree trimming, debris removal, drywall, and painting) to register for those services.
To register on the Network, contractors can go to www.dcnonline.org and enter their business name, contact information, and type of services they provide. Property owners needing services can go to the same website, enter the county they are in and search for the specific construction services or supplies they need.
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