Connect with us


A Guide to Employee Protection Laws in Florida



A Guide to Employee Protection Laws in Florida

Florida is home to a massive economy and vital workers that help the United States continue running. The state has nearly 10 million employees working in various sectors and industries, and these employees have fierce protections for their rights. Understanding your rights as an employee is critical to stand up for yourself and resist management decisions that aren’t in your interest.

Lack of foresight with employee protection laws could leave your finances and future vulnerable, but knowing those protections gives you the knowledge you need to protect yourself. You don’t want to be taken advantage of by a greedy corporate behemoth.

Fortunately, you’ve discovered this in-depth guide to the Florida employment laws you should know when you get hired by a new company in the Sunshine State. Continue reading for more labor regulations today!

Minimum Wage Laws

The minimum wage laws determine the lowest wage payable to employees in the state of Florida. The Federal minimum wage is the standard rate, but some states have passed legislation to raise the minimum wage. Your rights are tied to your state’s minimum wage, so you can earn a higher wage that offers a better quality of life.

After Florida voted to raise the state’s minimum wage in 2020, employees’ rights gained a massive win. The minimum wage was raised again in 2021 to $11 per hour, protecting employees’ rights and granting fair pay. Your employer must pay at least that wage to you after hiring you for a position at their company.

Salaried employees get paid bi-weekly or monthly, depending on the agreement signed between you and your employer. The total amount must be paid regardless of the hours you worked during that period. The only exceptions are the overuse of benefit days or personal leave.

Part-time employees also face a different minimum wage. The labor laws in Florida allow companies to pay a minimum wage 15 percent lower than full-time employees. Keep that in mind if you’re applying for a part-time job in Florida to protect your interests.

Overtime Laws

Examining the overtime laws and employee protections Florida provides is critical. Salaried workers are considered exempt from overtime laws, and those positions include executives, administrators, and computer science workers. You could qualify for overtime pay if you’re salaried and don’t work in those occupations.

Hourly workers receive time and a half for any hours worked over the 40-hour work week. You’ll receive $22.50 per hour of overtime if your base pay is $15. Ensure you’re receiving the money earned as an hourly employee in Florida.

Part-time employees seldom work the hours to qualify for overtime pay. If you work more than 40 hours a week, your employer is bound by employee protection laws to pay the time and a half you deserve. Keep that in mind if you work a long week that results in overtime.

Severance Pay Laws

Florida is one of the few states that doesn’t require businesses to offer severance pay to employees. That said, most companies offer this payment option when an employee is let go through no fault of their own. If you find yourself getting laid off, ask about the severance pay options at your former employer.

Severance pay is based on service time when you’re a salaried employee. If you’ve worked for the company less than a year, expect two to four weeks of pay. You can expect up to 12 weeks of income if you have more than three years of service with the company.

Hourly workers often get severance pay in Florida as well. Your severance pay could come in a lump sum or through installments, depending on company policy. Part-time employees often need more hours to receive severance pay from their former employer.

Paid Sick Leave Laws

Florida does not require employers to provide paid sick leave to ill employees, though many businesses offer it as a perk of the job. If you’re unable to work due to illness or injury, it’s wise to explore the exemptions for workers compensation in Florida.

Salaried employees receive a set wage, including sick leave, if they qualify under Florida employment laws and regulations. Hourly workers can also earn money on sick leave. That money can offset the lack of pay through the Family Medical Leave Act so you can keep your finances stable.

Common Florida Labor Law Violations

The most common Florida labor law violation is a failure to pay overtime pay to employees. Many employees never receive the overtime pay they’re entitled to for their hard work. It’s typical for employers to state that workers aren’t eligible for overtime pay to avoid paying this extra money.

Employers will also attempt to label new employees as independent contractors to get around the employee protection laws in Florida. Under these labor laws, employees have protection, while independent contractors lack that protection. You could lose significant benefits and pay if your employer designates you as an independent contractor.

You should also look out for pay deductions from your employer. Employees who receive essential equipment and a uniform through the employer should not lose out on wages related to the cost of those things. You’re entitled to every cent of your money earned, and a company that deducts those expenses from your pay is violating your employee rights.

These deductions could lower your pay beyond the minimum wage in Florida. You have a strong case for a lawsuit if you discover your income is getting deducted from your checks.

Study These Employee Protection Laws Today

Understanding the employee protection laws in place in Florida is critical for your employment status and your finances. The minimum wage laws are designed to protect employee rights and provide a livable wage, and an employer who gets around it with pay deductions is violating your rights. Understanding if the FMLA protects you is also critical for your employment future.

Are you ready to take your career to a new level? Read more about our business and technology blog content to take the next step in your career!