Florida Lawmakers Unveil First Draft of Minimum Wage Hike

But the first draft of a law to enact that hike, was far friendlier to employers than to those it's supposed to benefit. Over 300, 000 people are due for a dollar an hour pay raise on May 2, the day that Florida voters picked to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.15 an hour.

One restaurant will have to pay everyone of it’s servers a dollar an hour more so it already has plans of raising all it’s menu’s prices by a buck come May 1.

At the state capitol, lawmakers unveiled the first draft of legislation aimed at clarifying the wage hike. The draft contained glaring omissions. Labor lawyers say the draft forces workers to negotiate and puts their jobs in jeopardy.

"If you go to your employer and are fired there is no process in this statute as it is written today to provide redress for that."

Voters approved the payment of attorney’s fees in the amendment, as well as a fine for employers who deliberately fail to pay the higher wage, but neither item was in the draft bill. Still, the committee chairman says the draft was not intended to be employer friendly.

"I don’t think its employer friendly, I think its employer fair and I also think that its employee fair."

But for the low wage earners who were brought to town to make their presence known, there was dismay.

"They are being sore losers about it, they really don’t want it to, they didn’t want it to go through so now they want to sabotage the spirit of it and we are here to prevent that."

The draft legislation also prohibits class action lawsuits something the amendment allows.

Small businesses who opposed the amendment and lost now want the state to notify business owners of the law's requirements and its effective date.

The cost of the mailing would run around $300,000.


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