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Your Basic Employment Rights in the State of Florida

From wrongful termination to discrimination, employees in Florida are often the victims of workplace violations. Luckily, there are numerous federal and state employment laws in place to protect employee rights. Employment law is a very diverse area of the law that involves wages, workplace safety, taxation, wrongful termination and discrimination. And these laws apply to all employees, including those applying for a job, current employees and former employees.

Discrimination and Harassment Laws in Florida

Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prevents employers from making employment decisions based on:

  • Employment RightsSex (including pregnancy)
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Race
  • Age (employee must be at least 40 to claim age discrimination)
  • Disability
  • Genetic information

Under Florida law, all of the above are protected classes, as well as marital status and sickle cell traits. Any employee who has at least 15 employees is subject to these laws (20 employees for age discrimination compliance). No part of the employment relationship may violate these discrimination and harassment laws, including:

  • Job postings
  • Job interviews
  • Interview questions
  • Promotions
  • Pay
  • Benefits
  • Discipline
  • Time off
  • Firing or termination

Harassment is a form of discrimination, and is illegal under the laws detailed above. Harassment can take the form of an unwelcome comment or action, including verbal abuse, threats and unwanted touching, as well as sexual comments and/or advances.

Wage and Hour Laws in Florida

Both the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the state of Florida regulate wage and hour protections, overtime and minimum wage. This means that all employers are required to pay the highest minimum wage applicable to their employees. Since Florida’s minimum wage is higher than federal minimum wage, employees are entitled to the higher state wage.

What’s more, any employee who works more than 40 hours in a single week is legally entitled to one and a half times their regular pay in overtime pay. There are exceptions to the overtime rule, however, and certain employees are exempt from overtime pay, including:

  • Highly compensated employees
  • Executive employees
  • Professional employees
  • Administrative employees
  • Outside salespersons
  • Computer employees

Executive exemption covers managerial employees who make a certain threshold salary and perform specific duties. Other than these categories, all employees must be paid minimum wage and overtime, and are entitled under law to these wage and hour protections.

Time Off & Workplace Safety

Many employees receive sick leave, vacation time, holidays and/or other types of paid time off (PTO), although neither the state of Florida nor federal law requires paid leave benefits. The Family and Medical Leave Act, Florida’s Domestic Violence Leave Act and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act all govern employee time off. Florida employers must also allow employees to take unpaid time off for jury duty.

And, if you are an employee in the state of Florida – or anywhere else in the United States, for that matter – you have the right to a safe workplace, free of known dangers.

Contact Our Miami Employment Lawyers Today

If you feel your employer has violated any of your basic Florida employment rights, it may be beneficial for you to speak to an experienced Miami employment lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Keith M. Stern, P.A. today at (888) 315-8771 for a free consultation. We’re skilled litigators who aren’t afraid to hold negligent and irresponsible employers accountable for their actions.

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