In News & Updates

We write to update you on two important changes to Florida law that will go into effect on July 1, 2024, and will significantly impact municipal employers.  

HB433: Employment Regulations

On March 8, 2024, HB433 was submitted to Governor DeSantis for signature. The bill significantly restricts local governments’ ability to regulate private employers within their jurisdiction. If signed, the bill would preempt the authority of local governments to regulate private employers beyond state or federal law as it relates to workplace heat exposure requirements, minimum wages, employment benefits, and employee scheduling (e.g., predictive scheduling). The bill also extends to local governments’ procurement practices and limits the ability to give preference to those employers that provide greater benefits than those required by state and federal law.

Specifically, the bill prohibits local governments from establishing any law requiring private employers to meet or provide heat exposure requirements not otherwise required by state or federal law. Further, local governments may not give preference in a bidding process to an employer based on the employer’s heat exposure requirements and cannot seek information regarding an employer’s heat exposure measures as part of its request for proposal. This provision would go into effect on July 1, 2024, if signed.

The bill also amends Section 218.077, Florida Statutes, to prohibit local governments from maintaining a minimum wage that is higher than state or federal minimum wage or to provide employee benefits not otherwise required by state or federal law. Moreover, the bill creates Section 448.007 which would prohibit local governments from adopting any laws related to how private employers schedule their employees, including “predictive scheduling.” Thus, an ordinance like Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance (which requires certain private employers to give employees their work schedule fourteen days in advance and provide additional compensation if there are changes to the schedule within the fourteen-day period) would be considered null and void in Florida. Both the wage and scheduling preemption provisions would go into effect on September 30, 2026.

Recommended Actions:

  1. Municipal clients should review their existing ordinances pertaining to heat exposure requirements, minimum wage requirements, and employee benefits exceeding state or federal mandates.
  2. Identify procurement policies that require consideration of contractors’ current heat exposure practices or wages and benefits offered to employees. This will facilitate alignment with the likely changes in the law.

By taking proactive steps to assess and potentially amend existing ordinances and bidding procedures, municipal entities can adapt to the upcoming changes effectively.

SB818: Leave of Absence to Officials and Employees

On March 22, 2024, Governor DeSantis signed SB818 into law. The new law amends Sections 115.09 and 115.14, Florida Statutes, which require municipalities to provide paid leave for public officials and employees who are called to active military service. Under the current law, public officials and employees are entitled to up to 30 days’ paid leave regardless of the length of the military service. The amendment narrows the application of this provision by requiring paid leave only if the length of military service is 90 days or more. As a result, servicemembers called to duty for fewer than 90 days would not be eligible for paid leave. The new law goes into effect July 1, 2024.

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