A Florida senator introduced a bill to allow employers to offer a minimum ‘training pay’
Tallahassee Florida. State Senator Jeff Brandes is looking to make a change to Florida’s minimum wage laws that would allow employers to offer a “training wage” that’s lower than the state’s current minimum wage.
Brandes, a Pinellas County Republican, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 382, which would amend the state constitution—specifically, Section 24 of Article X, the section setting minimum wages in the state.
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SJR 382 calls on the state legislature to set a “minimum wage training rate lower than the minimum wage rate.”
Under the proposal, employers will be able to offer training pay to any employee for the first six months of their employment.
SJR 382 does not specify training wages but does give an insight into how it is calculated.
“The minimum training wage rate shall be based on the temporary federal training wage rate, if any, or on the results of a study commissioned every three years by the state legislature to determine an adequate minimum training wage rate,” the proposed amendment reads.
Read the full text of SJR 382 below:
Since this is a constitutional amendment, the legislature will have to vote on the motion which will then go on the ballot as 60% of Florida voters must support the measure for it to take effect.
Brands made a similar attempt at the 2021 legislative session where he proposed a “reduced minimum wage rate” for inmates in the state’s correction system, employees with a felony conviction, workers under the age of 21 and other “hard-to-employ” employees.
The senator’s attempts to introduce a pay rate below minimum wage came after Florida residents passed Amendment 2 in the 2020 election, which raised the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour in September, then raised it an additional $1 each year until it reaches $15 an hour. in 2026.
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According to estimates by the Florida Institute for Pay—which calls itself “an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing policies and budgets that improve the economic mobility and quality of life for all Florida residents”—2.5 million workers in Florida will benefit from the $15 minimum wage. per hour.
On the Florida Foodie podcast, Fight for $15 Defender Christian Cardona said even a minimum of $15 an hour may not be enough for workers.
“The thing about the fight for $15 is that it started nearly 10 years ago, in 2012. Laborers were asking for $15 (an hour) at the time and it’s been a long time since then and we still don’t have it,” Cardona said. Back in 2012, $15 (an hour) might have been enough at the time — it might not be enough now and in five years (when Florida’s minimum wage is $15 an hour), it will be less.”
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