Focus on the presidential contest aside, on Election Day, voters in several states approved measures that will impact employers. Namely, Florida employers are now looking at years of incremental increases to the minimum wage, while a slew of other states jumped on the marijuana-legalization bandwagon.
Florida voters narrowly approved Constitutional Amendment 2, which gradually increases the Sunshine State’s minimum wage from its current $8.56 per hour to $15 per hour over the next six years. All public and private sector employers must adhere to the following minimum wage rate schedule for nontipped employees:
As of September 30, 2027, the minimum wage rate will be adjusted annually based on changes to the Consumer Price Index, with the recalculated minimum wage to take effect on January 1 of the following year. Amendment 2 does not change the tip credit employers may credit toward the minimum wage for tipped employees who meet the Fair Labor Standards Act eligibility requirement.
Florida has become the first southern state to pass a $15 minimum wage target, and the first state in the country to do so via a ballot measure.
While Florida was the only state with a minimum wage hike on the November 3 ballot, voters in five states approved legalized marijuana measures, either medical or recreational:
These five states join a growing number of states with permissible recreational and (more prevalent) medicinal marijuana use on the books.
As we previously detailed here and here, state marijuana-related laws have myriad impacts on the workplace. To name just a few, the fast-changing legal landscape in this area has implications for employers’ drug-use policies and drug-testing procedures; disability accommodations and disability discrimination claims; wrongful termination charges; and potential conflicts with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act.