Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Employment Law Bills Pending In The Florida Legislature

Since I've been writing about states that have pro-employee laws, and complaining about the lack of protections for employees in Florida law, I thought you'd like to hear about some legislation that has been filed in the Florida legislature for the upcoming session. Will any of it pass? Doubtful. Still, now might be a good time to contact your representatives and state senators to support some of these laws:

Intern Sexual Harassment: Rep. Joseph Geller has proposed a law expanding the Florida Civil Rights Act to include unpaid interns. Why? Because we currently have no laws in Florida prohibiting sexual harassment of interns. Who will come out in favor of sexual harassment of our teenagers? Stay tuned.

Florida Overtime Act: This proposed law revises the number of hours of labor that is a full legal day's work from 10 to 8; revises rates of overtime compensation; provides that commuting to and from certain locations is not part of a day's work; prohibits an employer from requiring employee to continue working after punching out; prohibits employers from paying an employee for less than the amount of contracted hours worked by the employee; and provides penalties for violations.

Fair Pay: The Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act would condemn gender-based pay disparity and have the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Commission on Human Relations do research and disseminate information about unequal pay. No remedies for victims, but it could help prove that disparities exist and spread the word about what legal protections women have.

Minimum Wage: A law increasing the state's minimum wage to $10.10 probably doesn't have a snowball's chance.

Social Media Privacy: Right now, Florida employers can get away with demanding employee social media passwords. A law prohibiting this kind of invasion of privacy would make it illegal for employers to demand user names and passwords for personal social media accounts of employees and prospective employees.

Bullying: The Safe Environment Work Act would make employers liable for allowing an abusive work environment to exist. Will Florida join Tennessee in banning workplace bullies? Not likely.

Ban The Box: With this law, Florida would join the many states that ban employers from making prospective employees disclose their criminal history on an employment application. So far 13 states have passed ban-the-box laws.

LGBT Discrimination: One law that might pass, mainly because lots of Florida employers have come out in favor of it and it has bipartisan support, is the law proposing to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the categories of prohibited discrimination under the Florida Civil Rights Act.

Although it isn't specifically related to employment law, there's yet another attempt to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in Florida. The ERA was the first campaign I worked on when I moved here in 1981, and I thought it was a no-brainer. Here we are, 33 years later, with no ERA. Will it pass? No.

1 comment:

I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.