As the new year begins, it’s important for employers in Florida to stay updated on the latest workplace compliance regulations. Here are some key updates to be aware of:
Legal Age to Work in Florida
In Florida, the legal age to work is determined by specific regulations:
- Minors can only work for a maximum of 3 hours per day when followed by a school day unless they are enrolled in a vocational program.
- During non-school days or weeks, minors can work up to 40 hours per week.
- Minors are prohibited from working between 7 p.m. before a school day and 7 a.m. on a school day (9 p.m. during holidays and summer vacations to 7 a.m.)
Florida At-Will Employment
Florida is an at-will employment state, meaning employers can terminate employment for any reason, as long as it’s not illegal. Similarly, employees are free to leave a job at any time for any reason without legal consequences. Florida is one of the few states that doesn’t offer exceptions for public policy, covenants of good faith, or implied employment contracts.
Pre-Employment Drug Testing
Although medical marijuana is legal in Florida, private employers with three or more employees and public employers with safety-sensitive and law enforcement positions in Florida can conduct pre-employment drug testing. Refusal to submit to a drug test can be a basis for not hiring.
While all states fall under the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963, Florida has its own provisions (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 448.07) to ensure pay equity:
- Private companies with two or more employees are prohibited from discriminating in the payment of wages based on sex.
- Employers cannot employ a woman at a pay rate less than what a man receives for substantially similar work.
- Employees have the right to sue for damages in case of wage discrimination.
Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
The tipped minimum wage rate is the lowest amount an employee can earn per hour. This is made up of a basic cash wage (which must be paid by the employer) plus a tip credit (which an employer can claim). Federal law sets the minimum base wage at $2.13 per hour, but many states mandate a higher level. In Florida, the minimum wage for tipped employees is as follows:
$13.00 per hour (effective from 9/30/24) as the minimum wage.
$3.02 as the maximum tip credit that employers can claim.
$9.98 per hour (effective from 9/30/24) as the tipped minimum wage.
Lunch Break Rules
Non-exempt employees under 18 years of age who work at least 4 hours are entitled to a minimum 30-minute lunch break.
Military Leave Laws
Florida provides unpaid leave for state active duty without any loss of benefits. Additionally, companies with 15 or more employees must grant 15 days of unpaid leave for civil air patrol duties.
Holiday pay is not mandatory in Florida. However, if you choose to offer it to your employees, the rules can vary depending on their employment status (exempt, non-exempt, contractors, construction workers, or freelance workers). Paycor can provide tailored technology solutions, such as Paycor Payroll and Time and Attendance, to help you manage holiday pay effectively.
Paid Family Leave Laws
Currently, only federal law, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), provides unpaid leave for eligible employees. But as more states introduce their own family leave programs, HR departments will need to ensure compliance with additional regulations. Paycor’s HR and benefits administration platform can assist in managing these requirements.
Maternity Leave Laws
Florida currently does not have any state-specific maternity leave laws beyond the federal FMLA, which provides eligible parents with 12 weeks of unpaid leave and job protections.
Staying informed about these workplace compliance updates is crucial for employers in Florida to ensure they are meeting legal requirements and providing a fair and compliant work environment for their employees.
How Paycor Helps
Compliance is a moving target. Changes at the federal, state, and local levels can make HR leaders and business owners uneasy. Keeping up with everything can be a full-time job. Paycor helps more than 30,000 customers mitigate risk and stay ahead of regulations. To learn more, download our free HR Playbook: How Paycor Helps You Manage Compliance Risk, or take a compliance product tour.