Florida Senate - 2021                                    SJR 854
       By Senator Brandes
       24-00897B-21                                           2021854__
    1                       Senate Joint Resolution                     
    2         A joint resolution proposing an amendment to Section
    3         24 of Article X of the State Constitution to authorize
    4         the Legislature to provide a reduced minimum wage rate
    5         for prisoners in the state correctional system, for
    6         employees convicted of a felony, for employees under
    7         21 years of age, and for other hard-to-hire employees.
    9  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   11         That the following amendment to Section 24 of Article X of
   12  the State Constitution is agreed to and shall be submitted to
   13  the electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next
   14  general election or at an earlier special election specifically
   15  authorized by law for that purpose:
   16                              ARTICLE X                            
   17                            MISCELLANEOUS                          
   18         SECTION 24. Florida minimum wage.—
   19         (a) PUBLIC POLICY. All working Floridians are entitled to
   20  be paid a minimum wage that is sufficient to provide a decent
   21  and healthy life for them and their families, that protects
   22  their employers from unfair low-wage competition, and that does
   23  not force them to rely on taxpayer-funded public services in
   24  order to avoid economic hardship.
   25         (b) DEFINITIONS. As used in this amendment, the terms
   26  “Employer,” “Employee” and “Wage” shall have the meanings
   27  established under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
   28  and its implementing regulations.
   29         (c) MINIMUM WAGE. Employers shall pay Employees Wages no
   30  less than the Minimum Wage for all hours worked in Florida. Six
   31  months after enactment, the Minimum Wage shall be established at
   32  an hourly rate of $6.15. Effective September 30th, 2021, the
   33  existing state Minimum Wage shall increase to $10.00 per hour,
   34  and then increase each September 30th thereafter by $1.00 per
   35  hour, until the Minimum Wage reaches $15.00 per hour on
   36  September 30th, 2026. On September 30th of 2027 and on each
   37  following September 30th, the state Agency for Workforce
   38  Innovation shall calculate an adjusted Minimum Wage rate by
   39  increasing the current Minimum Wage rate by the rate of
   40  inflation during the twelve months prior to each September 1st
   41  using the consumer price index for urban wage earners and
   42  clerical workers, CPI-W, or a successor index as calculated by
   43  the United States Department of Labor. Each adjusted Minimum
   44  Wage rate calculated shall be published and take effect on the
   45  following January 1st. For tipped Employees meeting eligibility
   46  requirements for the tip credit under the FLSA, Employers may
   47  credit towards satisfaction of the Minimum Wage tips up to the
   48  amount of the allowable FLSA tip credit in 2003.
   49         (d) RETALIATION PROHIBITED. It shall be unlawful for an
   50  Employer or any other party to discriminate in any manner or
   51  take adverse action against any person in retaliation for
   52  exercising rights protected under this amendment. Rights
   53  protected under this amendment include, but are not limited to,
   54  the right to file a complaint or inform any person about any
   55  party’s alleged noncompliance with this amendment, and the right
   56  to inform any person of his or her potential rights under this
   57  amendment and to assist him or her in asserting such rights.
   58         (e) ENFORCEMENT. Persons aggrieved by a violation of this
   59  amendment may bring a civil action in a court of competent
   60  jurisdiction against an Employer or person violating this
   61  amendment and, upon prevailing, shall recover the full amount of
   62  any back wages unlawfully withheld plus the same amount as
   63  liquidated damages, and shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s
   64  fees and costs. In addition, they shall be entitled to such
   65  legal or equitable relief as may be appropriate to remedy the
   66  violation including, without limitation, reinstatement in
   67  employment and/or injunctive relief. Any Employer or other
   68  person found liable for willfully violating this amendment shall
   69  also be subject to a fine payable to the state in the amount of
   70  $1000.00 for each violation. The state attorney general or other
   71  official designated by the state legislature may also bring a
   72  civil action to enforce this amendment. Actions to enforce this
   73  amendment shall be subject to a statute of limitations of four
   74  years or, in the case of willful violations, five years. Such
   75  actions may be brought as a class action pursuant to Rule 1.220
   76  of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
   78  CONSTRUCTION. Implementing legislation is not required in order
   79  to enforce this amendment. The state legislature may by statute
   80  establish additional remedies or fines for violations of this
   81  amendment, raise the applicable Minimum Wage rate, reduce the
   82  Minimum Wage rate for prisoners in the state correctional
   83  system, reduce the Minimum Wage rate for employees convicted of
   84  a felony, reduce the Minimum Wage rate for employees younger
   85  than 21 years of age, reduce the Minimum Wage rate for other
   86  hard-to-hire employees, reduce the tip credit, or extend
   87  coverage of the Minimum Wage to employers or employees not
   88  covered by this amendment. The state legislature may by statute
   89  or the state Agency for Workforce Innovation may by regulation
   90  adopt any measures appropriate for the implementation of this
   91  amendment. This amendment provides for payment of a minimum wage
   92  and shall not be construed to preempt or otherwise limit the
   93  authority of the state legislature or any other public body to
   94  adopt or enforce any other law, regulation, requirement, policy
   95  or standard that provides for payment of higher or supplemental
   96  wages or benefits, or that extends such protections to employers
   97  or employees not covered by this amendment. It is intended that
   98  case law, administrative interpretations, and other guiding
   99  standards developed under the federal FLSA shall guide the
  100  construction of this amendment and any implementing statutes or
  101  regulations.
  102         (g) SEVERABILITY. If any part of this amendment, or the
  103  application of this amendment to any person or circumstance, is
  104  held invalid, the remainder of this amendment, including the
  105  application of such part to other persons or circumstances,
  106  shall not be affected by such a holding and shall continue in
  107  full force and effect. To this end, the parts of this amendment
  108  are severable.
  109         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be
  110  placed on the ballot:
  111                      CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT                     
  112                        ARTICLE X, SECTION 24                      
  113                       Article XII, SECTION 42                     
  115  MINIMUM WAGE RATE TO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES.—Proposing an amendment
  116  to the State Constitution to grant the Legislature authority to
  117  provide a reduced minimum wage rate for prisoners in the state
  118  correctional system, for employees convicted of a felony, for
  119  employees younger than 21 years of age, and for other hard-to
  120  hire employees.