In general, Florida’s employment laws encompass all the statutes, case precedent, administrative regulations, and other legal matters related to the employer-employee relationship. The sources may be federal or state governments, as well as county, municipal, and local bodies. Therefore, if you’re a business owner conducting operations in the state and you hire employees, you need to have in-depth knowledge about a wide range of legal requirements for your company as an employer.
Because it’s extremely difficult to take on these burdens – and operate a successful business at the same time – it’s important to work with a Clearwater employment law attorney. An overview of some of the basic legal issues may also be helpful.
Minimum Wage and Overtime in Florida:
Though the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, US laws allow states to fix a higher amount. Florida’s minimum wage is $8.46 for 2019, and it’s adjusted annually according to a statutory formula. If you own a company that employs tipped workers, there are complicated rules that apply. An employment law attorney can ensure you’re complying with your duties as an employer.
There are no regulations regarding overtime at the state level since Florida follows the requirements implemented by the federal government. In summary, all non-exempt employees must be paid 1.5 times their normal wage rate for the time they work per week in excess of 40 hours. Employers do NOT need to pay overtime to exempt employees, such as executives and professionals.
Florida’s Workers Compensation Laws:
Any business that employs four or more workers is required by statute to carry worker’s compensation insurance. If one of your employees is injured in a workplace accident or contracts an occupational illness because of job conditions, they file an insurance claim to obtain monetary benefits for their losses. A workers’ compensation claim is the sole remedy for your workers in most cases. However, there are exceptions that could still expose your company interests, so it’s still critical to keep a reasonably safe work environment for employees.
Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace:
Florida is an at-will state for employment purposes, so you can terminate a worker for any reason – unless that reason is on account of his or her:
- Race, ethnicity, or national origin;
- Age; or,
- Any other characteristics that are protected by federal and state law.
In addition, it’s not just termination that’s prohibited by discrimination and sexual harassment laws. Any adverse action based on the above items is actionable, as is allowing conduct that creates a hostile work environment. It’s essential for Florida employers to establish policies regarding these issues, as well as take quick action in the event of disputes.
Trust a Clearwater, FL Employment Law Attorney to Protect Your Interests
At Clearwater Business Law, our team has extensive experience working with employers in Pinellas County, FL in regards to many different employment law matters. To learn more about the legal requirements, please call (727) 785-5100 today to schedule a consultation. We can explain the relevant issues and describe how they apply to your company.