Fla.: Spring Legislative Session to Consider Many Employment Measures

By Rosemarie Lally May 18, 2015
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As Florida’s spring legislative session goes into full gear, legislators in both houses are considering an unusually high number of employment-related bills.

Measures introduced include:

  • Senate Bill (SB) 98 and House Bill (HB0 25 to create the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act and to establish the Governor’s Recognition Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace, which would be awarded annually to Florida employers who have engaged in efforts to eliminate barriers to equal pay for equal work for women.
  • SB 114 and HB 47 to increase the state’s hourly minimum wage to $10.10.
  • SB 156 and HB 33 to revise the Florida Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as protected characteristics, thus prohibiting discrimination based on perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, handicap, or marital status.
  • SB 214 and HB 977 to prohibit an employer from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application, unless required to do so by law (a so-called “Ban the Box” initiative).
  • SB 356 and HB 121 to provide incentives for employing people previously convicted of felonies.
  • SB 456 and HB 325 to revise the methods by which labor pools compensate day laborers.
  • SB 890 and HB 455 to require payment of time-and-one-half an employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of eight in a day, 40 in a workweek, or on the seventh day of any workweek.
  • SB 892 and HB 297 to ensure workers are provided a safe working environment and to prohibit retaliation against employees for reporting an “abusive work environment.”
  • SB 1318 and HB 589 to make procuring labor for less than minimum wage “with intent to defraud or deceive a person” a third-degree felony.
  • SB 1396 and HB 433 to amend the Florida Civil Rights Act to expand the definition of “employee” to include unpaid interns.
  • SB 1490 and HB 1185 (Florida Healthy Working Families Act) to require employers of more than nine workers to provide paid sick and safe leave; to require employers of nine or fewer workers to provide unpaid sick and safe leave; to create a complaint procedure; and to establish a civil cause of action for damages and fees for violations.
  • SB 126 to prohibit an employer from requesting or requiring access to an employee’s or job applicant’s social media account under certain circumstances.
  • SB 1096 to prohibit domestic violence victims who leave work voluntarily from being disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits.

Rosemarie Lally, J.D., is a freelance legal writer and editor based in Washington, D.C.

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