Florida Labor Laws Compliance Guide 2024

Gabrielle Sinacola | Apr 23, 2024

Florida Labor Laws Compliance Guide 2024

In Florida, keeping up with labor laws is more than legal diligence. It’s a smart business strategy. Especially for small and mid-sized companies, these laws shape the workplace and impact the bottom line.

Whether you’re running a thriving startup or managing a growing team, knowing the ins and outs of these regulations is essential. More than just being compliant, you’re creating a supportive and lawful working environment.

Let’s examine how Florida labor laws for salaried and hourly workers changed in 2024. These laws typically do not include independent contractors, as they have different regulations and exemptions.

Florida’s Minimum Wage: The Basics and What’s Ahead

Until recently, Florida’s hourly minimum wage was set at $11.00. It’s a rate that applies to most employees, given it’s higher than the federal minimum of $7.25. Thankfully, many state residents didn’t have to wait for 2024 to benefit from a wage increase.

On September 30th, 2023, the minimum wage climbed to $12.00 per hour, providing a dollar raise throughout the state of Florida. However, an increase to $15.00 per hour is planned by 2026. For business owners, this means staying ahead of payroll planning is a must.

Special Rules for Tipped Employees

The tipped employees’ rules differ in Florida, but they still enjoyed the same dollar raise as regular minimum wage receivers. Minimum wage laws for tipped employees were previously $7.98 per hour, but thanks to the statewide increase, the wage rate is now $8.98 an hour.

The lower rate tipped employees receive is possible through the “tip credit” system. Employers can pay these employees less than the standard minimum wage, but their total earnings must equal at least the state minimum wage when tips are included.

Posting and Penalties

Employers in Florida must display up-to-date minimum wage posters where employees can easily see them — it’s a critical step in compliance. Ignoring this can lead to fines of up to $1,000 per violation for not paying the minimum wage.

What Are the Laws Surrounding Meal and Rest Breaks?

In Florida, employment law doesn’t mandate meal or rest breaks for most employees. However, there’s an exception for younger team members.

Employees under 18 must get a 30-minute break if they work more than four consecutive hours. While many businesses voluntarily offer rest or meal breaks, it’s not a legal obligation for 18-year-olds (or older).

What Are the Recordkeeping Requirements?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the stage for recordkeeping. These documents create a clear, accurate history of your business’s employment practices.

For every employee, federal law requires you to keep track of names, social security numbers, addresses, and more. This includes details like their hours worked each day, weekly totals, and earnings. Florida employers are also permitted to run background checks, where the employee’s legal status can be kept on file.

Remember, these records aren’t just for show. They’re essential in case of audits or legal disputes. Whether you’re handling this in-house or using software, keeping these records for at least three years is a must.

What Are the Employee Scheduling Laws in Florida?

Florida, interestingly, doesn’t have state-specific laws for employee scheduling. This means that, unlike other states, Florida businesses have more leeway in scheduling their employees.

No need for panic over predictive scheduling laws here. With that flexibility comes the need to be mindful of how your scheduling practices affect your team.

You can adjust schedules as needed, but consider the impact on your full-time employees’ lives. Fairness and transparency go a long way in building a loyal, engaged workforce.

Don’t forget that while Florida might not have specific scheduling laws, federal regulations like the FLSA and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) still apply.

So, while you learn about Florida’s scheduling freedom, keep an eye on the bigger federal picture, especially regarding overtime pay and employee rights.

What Are Florida’s Overtime and Compensation Policies?

In Florida, overtime policies are guided by the federal FLSA. This means any non-exempt employee working over 40 hours in a workweek should be compensated at one and one-half times their regular rate of pay.

Calculating overtime might seem like just a numbers game, but it’s important for both employer and employee rights. It’s about fair compensation for time invested beyond the regular workweek.

Note that in Florida, there’s no state-specific overtime law. Thus, the federal FLSA guidelines are your go-to reference. Also, Florida doesn’t have laws for reporting time pay. This means if an employee is called in but sent home early, they’re only paid for actual hours worked. No minimum hours guarantee here, unlike some other states.

What Is the Payday Frequency and Wage Deductions?

Florida offers flexibility for setting pay periods. Employers can choose weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly paydays, as no state laws dictate this frequency.

But this freedom comes with a need for clarity and consistency. It’s necessary for employers to establish a regular pay schedule and stick to it, keeping employees informed and finances in order.

When it comes to wage deductions, Florida follows the FLSA guidelines. That means employers can make deductions for things like uniforms, shortages, or equipment, but only if it doesn’t drop the employee’s earnings below the federal minimum wage.

Garnishments for debts like child support or unpaid taxes are also a part of the landscape, with specific legal limits to protect employees’ earnings.

What Should You Know About Workers’ Compensation and Unemployment Insurance in Florida?

In Florida, most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This is important for covering injuries or illnesses that occur due to work. From construction firms to retail stores, ensuring your team is covered under workers’ compensation is vital to your business responsibilities.

Then there’s the reemployment tax, formerly known as the unemployment tax. This state tax, paid by employers, funds unemployment benefits for Floridians who lose their jobs. The rate varies, but it’s calculated on the first $7,000 of each employee’s wages. Remember, staying on top of these requirements is key to running a responsible business in Florida.

What Are Florida’s Workplace Rights and Protections?

In Florida, workplace protections extend beyond the sunny beaches. Both federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on factors like national origin, marital status, or, more recently, vaccination status.

These laws, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, ensure a fair and respectful workplace for all.

In 2023, Florida expanded its anti-discrimination laws, now including protection against discrimination based on vaccination status. This is a clear signal that the state is responsive to the evolving workplace dynamics.

For Florida employers, it’s essential to stay updated and ensure your workplace policies reflect these changes, fostering an environment of respect and inclusivity.

What Are the Leave Laws in Florida?

In Florida, the federal FMLA is a key player, providing eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. For employers, understanding the FMLA is essential — it’s about making sure your staff have the time they need while keeping your business running smoothly.

But what about other types of leave? While Florida doesn’t mandate sick leave, many private employers choose to offer it. There’s also specific leave for victims of domestic violence as outlined in the Florida statutes, providing them sufficient time to address their personal situations.

What Are the Child Labor Laws in Florida?

Employing minors in Florida comes with a distinct set of rules under the Florida child labor laws. These regulations are designed to ensure that work doesn’t interfere with the education and welfare of young workers. For instance, there are clear limitations on minors’ work hours, especially during school hours.

For teenagers and all high school students, there are nuances depending on their age — whether they’re 14-15 or 16-17 years old. Each group has specific hour laws, limits, and job types they can or can’t do. Employers hiring minors must stay vigilant about these rules, balancing business needs with legal responsibilities.

What Is Workplace Safety and OSHA Compliance Like in Florida?

Workplace safety in Florida falls under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. As an employer, you’re responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment.

This means complying with OSHA standards and being proactive about hazard prevention. This responsibility includes training, safety equipment, and regular safety audits. Ignoring these could lead to penalties, but more importantly, it compromises your employees’ well-being.

What Are the Labor Union Regulations?

Florida’s status as a right-to-work state means employees have the freedom to join or not join a labor union without affecting their employment. This law ensures that union membership is a matter of personal choice, not a job requirement.

For employers, this means understanding the balance between respecting employees’ rights to unionize and maintaining open communication channels with your workforce.

Collective bargaining and union interactions are still a part of Florida’s employment landscape, emphasizing the need for fair and lawful employment practices.

What Are the Basics of Employment Contracts and Severance in Florida?

In Florida’s “at-will” employment environment, either the employer or employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time for any legal reason.

This flexibility is a double-edged sword, providing freedom but also necessitating clear employment contracts to outline terms and expectations.

Additionally, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements are enforceable in Florida, provided they’re reasonable and protect legitimate business interests. Drafting these agreements carefully is key — they’re tools to protect your business while respecting employees’ rights.

Upon contract termination, Florida employers are required to comply with COBRA, which provides employees with health insurance beyond the contract end date.

Stay Ahead With Compliance in Florida

Florida’s labor laws can be complex, but you need to stay on top of them for your business’s success and employee well-being. If you need a hand in staying compliant, Mosey offers a streamlined solution to efficiently manage your payroll compliance needs.

Book a demo with Mosey today to get started.

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