An employment law attorney can help guide you through an employment law case. However, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the relevant laws. This way, you can work with your attorney more effectively. Florida’s employment laws are fairly similar to the employment laws of other states, but there are some key differences. Florida has relatively unique minimum wage and child labor laws, for example. Read on to learn more about Florida employment law.

Equal Employment Opportunity Regulations

Florida’s labor laws include several regulations that ensure employers follow equal employment opportunity (EEO) regulations. These regulations ensure that employers do not hire or terminate employees based on their race, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, or sexuality. Florida’s EEO laws are in line with the federal EEO laws. The EEO laws in Florida come from the Florida Civil Rights Act.

The Florida Civil Rights Act applies to the majority of employers in Florida, but it does not apply to all small businesses. Small businesses that have fewer than 15 employees do not have to follow the Florida Civil Rights Act.

One of the most unique aspects of the EEO provisions in the Florida Civil Rights Act is that people who have certain diseases are protected from employment discrimination. Specifically, people who have HIV or AIDS are protected from employment discrimination. Also, people who have sickle cell trait are also protected from employment discrimination. While many states do prohibit employment discrimination against people with HIV or AIDS, fewer protect people with sickle cell trait.

Florida’s EEO regulations also include equal pay provisions that are in line with federal law. Employees who do the same work cannot be paid less based on their sex. Sex is the only protected factor when it comes to Florida’s equal pay provisions. However, it is worth noting that federal law still applies, and federal law prohibits pay discrimination based on other factors (including race). Employers can pay employees of different sexes differently for the same jobs based on seniority or merit.

Whistleblower Regulations

Florida’s EEO laws follow federal law closely, and the same is true of Florida’s whistleblower regulations. Whistleblower regulations protect someone who reports illegal activity by their employer from punitive actions by that employer. Florida’s whistleblower laws also protect employees who have not yet reported their employers if they have threatened to report their employers.

It is important to note that a prospective whistleblower must first alert their supervisor of the situation before reporting the company to the government. This gives the company a chance to correct their illegal behavior before facing legal penalties.

Florida’s whistleblower laws also protect employees who have given testimony in court, as part of a legal investigation, or as part of a deposition. Additionally, employees are protected from retaliation by their employers if they refuse to participate in any of the employer’s illegal activities.

Recruiting Regulations

These days, it is common for employers to request a copy of a prospective employee’s credit report when considering them for a job. Employers in the finance sector are especially likely to request a credit report from any applicant. In Florida, any employer who wishes to evaluate a job applicant’s credit report may only do so with the written consent of the applicant. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act imposes similar restrictions on how employers can use a prospective employee’s credit report.

It is also common for employers in Florida to request that an applicant undergo a drug test before being considered for employment or even after being hired. Many employers do this so that they can get a “drug-free workplace” discount on their worker’s compensation insurance premiums. Employers are required to inform applicants and employees of their drug testing procedures ahead of time. However, they are not necessarily required to inform employees about a scheduled drug test. Note that employers can terminate an employee based on a positive test for marijuana, even if the employee has a valid medical marijuana card.

Florida Minimum Wage

Florida recently passed a new minimum wage law. This law requires the state minimum wage to gradually increase every year through 2026. It will then be adjusted based on inflation beginning in 2028. Florida is one of several states that has a separate minimum wage law for tipped employees. This law allows Florida to pay employees a lower hourly wage if they frequently receive tips.

Florida Child Labor Laws

Florida allows children as young as 14 to work, though there are many restrictions. Minors are prohibited from working jobs that the law deems to be hazardous. The list includes jobs in fields like roofing, construction, and window cleaning. Also, minors are generally prevented from working during school hours.

There are more restrictions on the work hours of 14 and 15-year-olds than there are on the work hours of 16 and 17-year-olds. For example, the restrictions on the work hours of 16 and 17-year olds only apply during school sessions. They do not apply during holiday breaks or summer break. When school is in session, 16 and 17-year-olds can work up to 30 hours per week. However, they cannot work more than six days in a row. 14 and 15-year-olds can only work 15 hours per week when school is in session and 40 hours per week when school is not in session. They are also restricted to working only six days consecutively.

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