In the second increase under a 2020 constitutional amendment, Florida’s minimum wage will go to $11 an hour on Sept. 30.
The voter-approved amendment will gradually lead to a $15-an-hour minimum wage on Sept. 30, 2026, and inflation-linked increases after that.
Under the measure, the minimum wage went to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021, and will increase by $1 each Sept. 30 until 2026.
Prominent Orlando attorney John Morgan spearheaded the constitutional amendment, pouring millions of dollars into its passage. Supporters said it was needed to help low-paid workers.
But the amendment faced opposition from Republican leaders, such as state GOP Chairman Joe Gruters, a Sarasota senator, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor. Among other things, they said it would hurt small businesses.
The change also was opposed by business groups, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.
Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Indian tribe of Florida, said Monday it is spending over $100 million to give significant raises to 10,000 non-tipped workers, most of them in the U.S.
The raises, which include an immediate increase to a minimum starting salary of $18 to $21 an hour, are designed to help employees deal with persistent inflation, and to help the company attract and retain top talent, lessening employee turnover.
Hard Rock said the raises will go to half its U.S. workforce, including about 1,500 at its hotel and casino in Tampa.
The $18 hourly starting salary announced Monday by Hard Rock is 2 1/2 times the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and exceeds the local minimum wage in every state in which the company operates, said Jim Allen, the company's chairman and CEO.
An entry-level worker in Florida, for example, will receive an immediate pay increase of $8 to $11 an hour above the state’s $10 an hour minimum wage. The hourly rate increase equates to more than $16,000 per year.
Inflation remains far higher than many Americans have ever experienced and is keeping pressure on the Federal Reserve, the agency tasked with keeping prices stable. The Fed is expected to announce another big increase in its benchmark interest rate next week, which will lead to higher costs for many consumer and business loans.
Inflation has escalated families’ grocery bills, rents and utility costs, among other expenses, inflicting hardships on many households and deepening gloom about the economy despite strong job growth and low unemployment.
Even if inflation peaks, economists expect it could take two years or more to fall back to something close to the Fed’s annual 2% target. The cost of rental apartments and other services, such as health care, are likely to keep rising in the months ahead.
The Associated Press and the News Service of Florida contributed to this report.