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Friday, November 9, 2018

Majority of States Protect Employees of Small Employers, But Not Florida

We've reached a tipping point where a majority of states now have laws that protect employees of smaller employers. Most federal discrimination laws protect employees only if their employers have 15 employees or more (20 for age discrimination, all employers for Equal Pay Act, 4 - 14 for national origin/citizenship under the The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986). But a majority of states have stepped in and decided to protect their working people even if they work for a smaller employer.

Not Florida, of course (except our age discriminaiton law also requires only 15 employees). Florida remains, and will continue to remain after the election, one of the most anti-employee states in the nation.

Still, it's something to give us hope when even many very red states have protected more employees. A total of 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, now protect employees of small businesses. Here's a breakdown of states and how many employees a business has to have to be covered under anti-discrimination laws:

  • Alaska - all employers
  • Arkansas - 9
  • California - 5
  • Connecticut - 3
  • Delaware - 4
  • D.C. - all employers
  • Georgia - 10 for equal pay, all for age
  • Hawaii - all employers
  • Idaho - 5
  • Indiana - 6, all for age
  • Iowa - 4
  • Kansas - 4
  • Kentucky - 8
  • Maine - all employers
  • Massachusetts - 6
  • Michigan - all employers
  • Minnesota - all employers
  • Mississippi - all employers
  • Montana - all employers
  • New Hampshire - 6
  • New Jersey - all employers
  • New Mexico - 4
  • New York - 4
  • North Dakota - all employers
  • Ohio - 4
  • Oklahoma - all employers
  • Oregon - all employers
  • Pennsylvania - 4
  • Rhode Island - 4
  • South Dakota - all employers
  • Tennessee - 8, for gender wage discrimination all employers
  • Vermont - all employers
  • Virginia - all employers
  • Washington - 8
  • West Virginia - 12, for gender wage discrimination all employers
  • Wisconsin - all employers
  • Wyoming - 2

Even in anti-employee Florida, some counties and municipalities have stepped up to cover smaller employers. In Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Orange, Lee and Pinellas Counties, employers with 5 or more employees are covered by discrimination ordinances.

If 16 states, including even ultra-red Oklahoma, can cover all employees, why won't Florida step up to help its working people? Ask your elected officials.