The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) announced the launch of a new tipped wage calculator on Friday, revealing how Ballot Amendment 2 will detrimentally affect Florida businesses if passed in November.
The calculator, which depicts the drastic effects of a statewide $15 minimum wage, reveals how the ballot amendment would impact payroll costs across the state. According to FRLA’s website, the initiative could have serious implications for businesses in the Sunshine State, with the calculator revealing that an increase in the mandatory minimum wage could result in a rise in payroll costs by as much as 77 percent.
“Before COVID-19, Florida’s restaurant, lodging, and tourism industry generated more than $112 billion in annual economic impact and provided jobs for more than 1.5 million Florida families,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “This tipped wage calculator will help to show Floridians the cold, hard numbers that will affect their bottom line and ultimately determine whether or not their business will survive.”
Spearheaded by TV trial lawyer John Morgan, the Constitutional amendment would gradually increase Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. But several pro-business groups, including the FRLA, have geared up to fight back against the initiative.
On the frontline of the fight to save jobs in Florida is Dover, who maintains that Morgan’s $15 wage increase would destroy the state’s economy, kill additional jobs, and be the coup de grâce for many in the hospitality industry who are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A new economic impact study has revealed that Florida will lose at least 158,0000 jobs for workers across the state if this ballot initiative is passed,” stated Dover in a press release. “Ballot Amendment 2 is a job killer, one that will leave the hospitality industry on life support. We cannot afford to lose the small, family-owned businesses that make Florida unique and are responsible for the majority of jobs created in this state.”
Dover’s statement references a recent study that concluded that the $15 minimum wage proposal would kill at least 158,000 jobs in Florida, adding to the hundreds of thousands of jobs already lost due to the coronavirus.
FRLA’s press release also pointed to Florida’s unemployment rate, which sat at 11.3 percent — due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 — before dropping to 7.4 percent in August. The Association also highlighted an economic analysis that showed how the mass contagion destroyed close to 336,000 direct and hotel-supported jobs and led to hundreds of thousands of job losses and billions in sales.
The proposed amendment will be considered on the Nov. 3 ballot and will require 60 percent approval from voters to pass