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. 8 9 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 10 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. 77 (f) ADDITIONAL LEGISLATION, IMPLEMENTATION AND 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 42 114 GRANTING THE LEGISLATURE AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE A REDUCED 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.