New Minimum Wage

This year new minimum wage increases go into affect. That's good news for full-time employees who will see $1.00 more per hour, but bad news for some business owners.

Verna Jackson is one of the Florida residents who fought for a raise in the minimum wage. She's a full-time employee who currently earns $5.15 per hour.

"Yes, I signed up for it because I think it is a good idea," shared Jackson.
Full-time employees earning minimum get a little more than $10,000 a year. That's about $18,000 below the poverty line. The dollar raise passed by voters in November will give her an extra $2,080.

Verna says every little bit will help her support her two children.

"They depend on me solely and it gets hard sometimes because I have to take care of them. I have to take care of the house, the bills, myself. I have to, you know, and it gets frustrating sometimes," she says.

But the raise in pay may be frustrating for business owners too.

Rick McAllister, head of the Florida Retail Federation, says, "You really are talking about something that could have a billion dollar inflationary effect on the state of Florida."

The question on both the minds of employers and employees is when will this take effect? And so far, there's no clear answer.

The amendment says in the writing six months after the effective date, but when is the effective date? The debate will continue in political and legal circles.

The Human Resource Association of Palm Beach County says business owners should be ready for the new wage by May 2, just in case the effective date began November 2, which is when voters passed the amendment.