Florida Voters Approve Phased-In $15 Minimum Wage

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

November 4, 2020

By a margin of more than 2.2 million votes (about 60% to 40%), Florida citizens have approved a ballot initiative that will raise the state's minimum wage to $15.00 over the next several years, as follows:

  • January 1, 2021 - $8.65 (under an already-scheduled inflation adjustment);
  • September 30, 2021 - $10.00;
  • September 30, 2022 - $11.00;
  • September 30, 2023 - $12.00;
  • September 30, 2024 - $13.00;
  • September 30, 2025 - $14.00;
  • September 30, 2026 - $15.00; and
  • January 1, 2028, and every January 1 thereafter - Adjusted for inflation.

Florida joins seven states - California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York - that are on a path to a $15.00 minimum wage. Several localities - including the District of Columbia, Seattle and many cities and towns in California - also are on a path to a $15.00 minimum wage or have already surpassed it.

The ballot initiative's backers applauded its passage as a victory for workers.

But many business groups, such as the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, warned it may result in job losses and business closures.

Economic research has been mixed on this front. One prominent study from the Congressional Budget Office released last year predicted that a $15.00 federal minimum wage could result in 1.3 million job losses. But other research - such as a 2019 study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics - has found that increases in the minimum wage have not resulted in significant job losses.

Portland, Maine

Meanwhile, voters in Portland, Maine, have approved a citizen initiative referendum that would raise the city's minimum wage to $15.00 by 2024, according to unofficial results. City officials said they will analyze the impact of this referendum and share their findings with local businesses once they are done.