The employment laws of Florida govern nearly every aspect of an employer-employee relationship. These statutes and regulations offer safeguards to employees against arbitrary and unlawful decisions by employers, as well as allow employers to do business without too many obstacles. Thus, Florida’s employment laws are necessarily broad.

In addition to Florida employment laws, there are federal laws that employers must follow. Below are a major areas of Florida employment laws, and how those laws combine with federal law to offer an array of protections.

"At Will" Employment

Essentially every state follows an at-will employment structure. At-will employment describes an agreement where the employee may be terminated at any time for any lawful reason without any notice whatsoever.

Under Florida law, the following are forbidden from being used in a decision to hire or fire an employee:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Disability
  • Age, if the employee is 40 or older
  • Marital status
  • AIDS and HIV
  • Sickle cell trait

It is worth noting that this list is far from exhaustive, and any employer who violates the law by dismissing or refusing to hire an employee for one of these reasons may be subject to Florida state and federal anti-discrimination laws.

Wage and Hour Laws

Federal law controls the absolute minimum every worker is entitled to. However, Florida departs from the federal standard in some unique ways.

  • Minimum Wage: Florida’s minimum wage is $7.93, which puts it slightly above the federal minimum. In Florida, minimum wage is subject to exceptions based on the type of work an employee does. If an employee, such as a server or a bartender, works for tips, they are only legally entitled to a minimum of $4.91 an hour.
  • Overtime: Florida does not have specific laws on overtime. Thus, Florida follows federal overtime law.

Additional Protections

Florida has specific laws governing sexual harassment in the workplace. Florida defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Seeking Legal Advice

If you live in Florida or work for a Florida company, and feel as though you have been mistreated, you should contact a local employment attorney as soon as possible. Only a Florida lawyer can assess your case, and help you pursue your claims.