Table of contents
What’s new in 2023
- Minimum wage increase
- Updated EEOC workplace discrimination poster
- Discrimination based on vaccination or immunity status prohibited
- COVID-19 “medical freedom” laws
Wage and Hour Laws
The hourly minimum wage in Florida is $11.00.
As this is more generous than the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour), the state minimum applies to eligible Florida employees. This means it applies to all non-exempt employees under state or federal law, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
A bill signed on June 12, 2023, specifies that employees who are eligible for the federal minimum wage under the FLSA are eligible for the Florida state minimum wage.
The minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour on September 30, 2023. By 2026, the minimum wage in Florida will rise to $15 per hour.
Employers must display an up-to-date minimum wage poster in a location where all employees can see it.
Intentional failure to pay the minimum wage can attract civil fines of $1,000 per violation.
Tipped Minimum Wage
The current tipped minimum wage in Florida is $7.98 per hour.
In other words, employers can take a tip credit of $3.02 per hour. This means they can pay tipped employees up to $3.02 below the standard minimum wage as long as employees’ hourly earnings—wages plus tips—add up to at least $11.00.
Tip pooling, both voluntary and mandatory, is allowed in Florida. This means employees can be required to pool some of their tips to share with other employees. Employers that do this must give employees advance notice of the policy.
Employers cannot require employees to pool tips to the extent that the employee earns less than the minimum wage. Pooled tips also cannot be shared with non-tipped employees, including management and supervisors.
State law in Florida is silent on whether employers can subtract credit card transaction fees from credit card tips.
Meal and Rest Breaks
Florida employers are not required by law to provide meal or rest breaks. The exception is for employees under 18, who are entitled to a 30-minute break if they work more than 4 continuous hours.
Despite the lack of Florida labor laws on breaks, many employers voluntarily have a break policy. Where they choose to provide meal or rest breaks, employers must pay employees for short breaks of 20 minutes or less. Employers do not have to compensate employees for longer breaks as long as employees are relieved of all work duties during this time.
Recordkeeping (Wages and Hours)
There are no state-based laws in Florida regarding recordkeeping requirements for employers.
However, federal law—including the FLSA—requires employers to keep records detailing each employee’s:
- Name and social security number.
- Date of birth.
- Time and date when their work week starts.
- Daily hours worked.
- Weekly hours worked.
- Basis of pay.
- Regular hourly pay rate.
- Total daily or weekly earnings, separately noting overtime.
- Additions or deductions from their wages.
- Wages paid per pay period.
- Date of payment and pay period dates.
Employee Scheduling Laws
Florida does not have any state-based predictive scheduling laws or advance notice requirements for schedule changes.
Florida employers can change employees’ schedules without giving prior notice or getting employees’ consent—unless a collective bargaining agreement or employment contract says otherwise.
Employee Compensation and Benefits
There are no state laws regarding overtime. Thus, federal overtime laws under the FLSA apply to Florida workers.
All non-exempt employees under the FLSA are entitled to overtime pay in Florida.
Overtime is any hours an employee works over 40 hours in a workweek—i.e., 7 consecutive work days. Employers must pay any overtime at 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.
There is no general daily overtime limit under Florida state law. However, manual laborers who work over 10 hours in a single day must be paid overtime for any time over 10 hours.
Reporting Time Pay
Florida does not have any laws relating to reporting time pay.
This means that if an employee attends work but is let go early from their shift, the employer has to pay the employee only for the hours they worked.
There is no minimum amount of time an employee must be paid for attending a shift but not working the full shift.
Payday Frequency and Method
Employers in Florida are free to set their own pay periods. There are no state laws regulating pay frequency.
Employers can pay employees by cash, check, direct deposit, coupons, punch-outs, tickets, or other items in place of cash, as long as they are fully redeemable in the US.
Employees can be paid by direct deposit only where they agree in writing to it and nominate the bank account where they will receive their pay.
There are no specific laws in Florida regarding pay stubs, except for employers running a labor pool. Paystubs for day laborers must itemize any deductions from their pay.
Similarly, while the FLSA requires employers to keep payroll records, there is no requirement to provide employees with pay stubs.
Wage Deductions and Garnishments
Florida does not have any laws regarding what employers can or cannot deduct from employees’ pay or requiring employees’ consent to do so.
As a result, the federal FLSA rules on wage deductions apply.
This means that, in addition to state and federal taxes, employers can deduct a range of items from employees’ pay. These include damage or loss to the employer’s property, cash register shortages, and mandatory uniforms and tools.
However, employers cannot deduct uniforms, safety equipment, or tools from laborers in labor pools. Employers also cannot make deductions that result in employees earning less than the federal minimum wage—currently $7.25 per hour.
In Florida, a portion of an employee’s paycheck can be withheld—or garnished—to pay a creditor.
To do so, creditors generally require a court order unless the debt concerns unpaid income taxes, child support under a court order, or federal student loans.
Garnishments as a result of court orders are generally limited to 25% of the employee’s disposable income or 30 times the federal minimum wage, whichever is less.
Different rates apply for garnishments relating to income taxes, child support, and student loan debt. Ultimately, any total garnishment amount cannot exceed 25% of an employee’s income.
Creditors cannot garnish an employee’s wage in some situations, including where:
- The employee’s disposable income is less than 30 times the federal minimum wage.
- The employee is the head of their family—i.e., providing more than half of the support for a child—and they earn $750 or less a week. In this situation, garnishments can happen if the employee agrees to them in writing.
Final Paycheck Laws
Florida doesn’t have any state-specific laws regarding the timing of employees’ final paychecks.
Common practice suggests many employers provide final paychecks on the payroll day immediately following an employee’s termination.
There are no laws requiring private employers in Florida to pay out accrued paid sick or vacation leave in an employee’s final paycheck. The exception is if the employer agrees to do so under a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, or workplace policy.
Under Florida laws, the following employers must take out workers’ compensation insurance:
- Non-construction industry employers with 4 or more employees, either full or part-time
- Construction industry employers
- Agricultural employers with 6 or more regular employees / 12 or more seasonal employees who work for 30 days or more
Employers in the construction industry can apply to exempt limited corporate officers from requiring insurance. Their coverage must otherwise include all employees and contractors.
Certain businesses are exempt from requiring workers’ compensation, including sole proprietors and partnerships, although they can choose to buy it.
Penalties for employers who don’t have the required workers’ compensation insurance can result in stop-work orders and financial penalties.
Workers’ compensation insurance helps cover the costs of medical expenses, disability payments, lost wages, funeral costs, and legal fees resulting from workplace injury or illness.
Workers who are injured or become ill at work should notify their employer within 30 days of the injury or illness. The employer then has 7 days to report it to their insurance company.
Employees whose claims are denied by the insurance company can seek help from an Employee Assistance District Office to try to reach an agreement.
Alternatively, employees can file a Petition for Benefits with the court to resolve the dispute. Employees usually have up to 2 years after the date of their injury or illness to file a petition.
Most employers must pay unemployment insurance tax for their employees. In Florida, this is referred to as “reemployment tax.”
Employers who must pay reemployment tax include those:
- With a quarterly payroll of $1,500 or more in a calendar year.
- With 1 or more employees for a day—4 or more for nonprofits—across any 20 weeks of the year.
- Agricultural organizations with 5 or more workers for a day across any 20 weeks of the year, or with a $10,000 cash payroll in a quarter.
- With a private home or college club, who paid $1,000 cash for domestic work in a quarter
- Liable under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act.
- Liable before for Florida reemployment tax.
Reemployment tax for each employee is calculated on the first $7,000 of an employee’s wages.
Different tax rates apply depending on the experience of an employer. The current reemployment insurance rate for new employers is 2.7%. The highest reemployment tax rate is 5.4%.
Employers can pay reemployment by setting up an account with the Department of Revenue.
Employers must display a poster explaining unemployment compensation so that all employees can see it.
This tax funds the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, which pays benefits to eligible individuals who are out of work. To be eligible for reemployment benefits, individuals must:
- Be a resident of Florida
- Be out of work through no fault of their own—for example, as a result of layoffs, being fired, or quitting in certain circumstances
- Have worked in Florida for the last 12 months
- Earned a minimum amount of wages during the base period
- Continue to actively seek employment while receiving benefits
Employees can apply for reemployment benefits via Florida’s online Reemployment Assistance System called CONNECT.
The amount of benefits individuals receive is calculated by dividing their earnings during the highest paid quarter of their base period by 26. These payments are capped at a maximum of $275 per week.
The length of time an individual can receive benefits ranges between 12 to 23 weeks, depending on the state’s unemployment rate.
Workplace Rights and Protections
Discrimination and Harassment
Both federal and state anti-discrimination laws apply to employers in Florida.
Under federal law, it is illegal for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against employees during any part of the hiring process or their employment based on:
- National origin.
- Sex (equal pay laws apply to employers of all sizes).
- Sexual orientation.
- Gender identity.
- Age (applies to employers with 20 or more employees).
- Genetic information.
- Citizenship status (applies to employers with 4 or more employees).
Employers must post an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notice advising employees of their rights when it comes to workplace discrimination. An updated version of this poster is due to be released at the end of June 2023.
Florida law also makes it illegal for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate based on marital status, HIV/AIDS, or sickle cell trait.
As of June 1, 2023, state law also makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on their vaccination or immunity status.
Florida state law also recently prohibited employers with 15 or more employees from using discriminatory practices in their diversity training programs. This change to the law expanded the definition of discrimination.
Under it, employers cannot require employees to attend training that covers certain concepts like:
- Members of a race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another race, color, sex, or national origin.
- Individuals, due to their race, color, sex, or national origin, are responsible for, should be discriminated against, or receive adverse treatment because of past actions committed by members of the same race, color, sex, or national origin.
- Individuals, due to their race, color, sex, or national origin, should be discriminated against to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.
Workplace training can only discuss these topics in “an objective manner without endorsement,” otherwise they amount to discrimination.
Employees who feel they are the victim of discrimination based on a protected characteristic under federal law can file a complaint with their local office of the EEOC for investigation.
If the EEOC finds that discrimination occurred, it may try to help the individual negotiate a settlement with their employer or file a lawsuit against the employer.
If the investigation doesn’t uncover discrimination, the EEOC issues a Right to Sue notice. This allows an individual to pursue their claim in court, should they wish to do so.
Employees may also be able to file an inquiry with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. They must do so within 1 year of the alleged discrimination and only if there is no other federal or local agency that can accept alleged discrimination inquiries.
If discrimination is found, the employer may need to take steps to address discrimination and prevent it from happening again. The individual who filed the complaint may be able to recover back pay and their costs.
|✔ Family and Medical Leave||The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to all Florida employers with 50 or more employees. It requires employers to give employees access to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period to:Address a serious health condition, either their own or a family member’s.Bond with and care for a new child.Support a family member’s military service or injury while serving active duty.|
Leave to support a family member’s injury during military service can be extended to up to 26 weeks.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, employees must have worked at the organization for at least 12 months and a minimum of 1,250 hours.
When an employee returns from FMLA leave, they must be reinstated to the same or equal position as before they left.
Employers can require employees to use their accrued paid leave during FMLA leave.
|𐄂 Paid Sick Leave||Private employers in Florida are not required by law to offer paid or unpaid sick leave. |
However, many employers choose to do so. Where they do, employers should comply with their sick leave policy and any relevant employment contract terms.
If an employer doesn’t offer paid sick leave, employees may still be entitled to unpaid leave under the FMLA.
|𐄂 Paid Family Leave||Florida employers are not legally required to offer paid family leave. Where an employer chooses to do so, they should comply with the relevant terms of their paid family leave policy and employment contract. |
Employees may also be able to access unpaid FMLA leave to help care for a family member with a serious health condition.
|𐄂 Pregnancy and Parental Leave||Florida does not require employers to offer paid pregnancy or parental leave. New parents eligible for federal FMLA leave may be able to access up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to bond with their new child.|
|𐄂 Vacation and Personal Leave||Employers in Florida are not required by law to offer paid or unpaid vacation or personal leave. |
However, many employers choose to do so. Where they do, employers should comply with their vacation leave policy and any relevant employment contract terms.
Employers can implement a “use it or lose it” policy, preventing employees from carrying over accrued leave into the next year.
Employers are not required to pay out employees’ accrued paid time off on their termination.
|𐄂 Holiday Leave||While public employers must give employees paid leave for specific state holidays, private employees are not required to do so. |
If they choose to do so, it should comply with the relevant terms of its holiday leave policy and employment contract.
Military, jury duty, and other types of mandatory leave
There are several other types of mandatory leave in Florida.
|Military Leave||Under federal law, all employers must give employees up to 5 years of unpaid leave for service in the US military.|
Upon their return to work after military service leave, employees must be reinstated to the position they would have filled had they continuously worked for the employer.
Under state law, employers cannot penalize employees for an absence due to serving active duty in the Florida National Guard. Employees generally must also be reinstated and cannot be discharged without cause for 1 year after reinstatement.
Employees serving in the Civil Air Patrol are entitled to 15 days of unpaid leave if their employer has 15 or more employees.
Employees are entitled to a maximum of 240 hours a year of paid leave of absence for military training.
|Jury Duty Leave||At the state level, Florida employers must give employees jury duty leave, although this does not have to be paid. Employers cannot terminate an employee’s employment as a result of jury service. |
Two counties require employers to pay employees for jury duty leave.
In Broward County, employers must pay employees their regular salary minus any compensation from the court for up to 5 days of jury duty leave.
In Miami-Dade County, companies with more than 10 employees must pay employees their regular salary, minus any compensation from the court during jury duty leave.
|Domestic Violence Leave||Employers with at least 50 employees must give employees who are the victims of domestic violence up to 3 days off every 12 months for certain reasons. These include medical attention or counseling, seeking an injunction or obtaining legal advice, and relocation. |
This leave can be paid or unpaid.
To be eligible, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 3 months. Unless the employer agrees otherwise, employees must first use any accrued vacation, annual, personal, or sick leave before using this type of leave.
|Voting Leave||Employers are not required to offer paid or unpaid time off for employees to vote. |
However, employers cannot terminate or threaten to terminate an employee for voting or not voting or based on who or what they voted for.
Child Labor Laws
Child labor laws (Florida) apply to minors—i.e., employees aged 17 and under.
Exceptions include employees who:
- Are married.
- Have graduated from an accredited high school or have a high school diploma (or equivalent).
- Are serving, or have served in the military.
- Have been declared an adult or approved to work a certain job by a court.
Children aged 13 and under generally cannot work in Florida except:
- As pages in the Florida Legislature.
- In the entertainment industry.
- For their parents and only when not required at school.
- Domestic or farm work in their family homes, farms, or ranches and only when not required at school.
- Herding, tending, or managing livestock and only when not required at school.
Florida employers must provide minors with a safe environment and ensure they are properly supervised.
|14- and 15-year-olds||16- and 17-year-olds|
|When school is in session||Can work up to 3 hours on a school day unless there is no school scheduled the following day|
Can work up to 8 hours on a non-school day
Can work up to a maximum of 15 hours a week and 6 consecutive days of work in a week
|Can work up to 8 hours a day the day before a scheduled school day|
Can work up to a maximum of 30 hours a week and 6 consecutive days of work in a week
Cannot work during school hours unless enrolled in a career education program
|When school isn’t in session||Can work up to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week|
Can work up to 6 consecutive work days in a week
|No restriction on maximum hours, but can only work up to 6 consecutive days|
|Limit on hours||Cannot work before 7 am or after 7 pm on school days|
Cannot work before 7 am or after 9 pm when school isn’t in session
There are some exceptions to the above restrictions, including where the minor:Has been exempted by their school superintendent or qualifies on a hardship basis, as assessed by the school superintendent.Works in domestic service in private residences, for their parents, or as a page of the Florida Legislature.
|Cannot work before 6:30 am or after 11 pm on school days|
There are some exceptions to the above restrictions, including where the minor:Has a high school diploma or equivalent.Has been exempted by their school superintendent or qualifies on a hardship basis, as assessed by the school superintendent.Works in domestic service in private residences, for their parents, or as a page of the Florida Legislature.
|Limit on types of work||Prohibited occupations for 14- and 15-year-olds include:Those involving power-driven machinery (except certain lawn power mowers).Manufacturing, mining, or processing.Sawmills.Scaffolding.Construction.Machine or equipment repair.Warehousing and storage.Spray painting.Alligator wrestling.|
Full list of prohibited occupations.
|Minors aged 16 and 17 are prohibited from working in certain hazardous occupations (unless they only work in the office, sales, or stockroom), including those involving:The manufacture or storage of explosives.Toxic substances.Mining.Power-driven machinery.Wrecking or demolition.Roofing.Scaffolding.Meatpacking or slaughtering.Driving a motor vehicle. |
There are some exceptions to these for student learners enrolled in a youth vocational training program.
Full list of prohibited occupations.
All minors are also prohibited from working in places where alcohol is sold or served. Some exceptions to this include:Minors working in a grocery store, drugstore, department store, etc., where alcohol is sold but cannot be consumed.Professional entertainers who are 17 and not attending school.Minors working in bowling alleys, as long as they don’t prepare, serve, or sell alcohol.
Full list of exceptions.
Florida employers must keep a record of each minor employee’s proof of age during their employment. Proof of age can be a copy of the minor employee’s birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license.
Minors who work more than 4 consecutive hours must have a 30-minute meal break.
The law requires employers who employ minors to display child labor law posters, available from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. These posters must inform them of their rights under Child Labor Law, including hourly restrictions, required breaks, and employer fines for non-compliance.
Failure to comply with child labor laws in Florida may result in civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation, as well as criminal charges.
Workplace Safety and Health
Private employers in Florida are covered by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH) Act. Administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this law requires employers to provide employees with a hazard-free workplace.
To do this, employers must take a variety of steps, including:
- Complying with all rules and regulations under the OSH Act.
- Providing employees with adequate safety equipment.
- Warning employees of potential workplace hazards.
- Providing regular safety training to employees.
- Displaying an up-to-date OSHA poster in the workplace where all employees can see it.
- Maintaining records of all workplace injuries and illnesses.
- Not discriminating against employees who exercise their rights under the OSH Act.
Employers must also report any workplace fatalities to their nearest OSHA office within 8 hours. They must also report within 24 hours any workplace injuries or illnesses involving inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or the loss of an eye.
Failure to comply with the OSH Act can attract penalties of up to $70,000 for repeated and willful violations.
Employees also have a range of rights under the Act, including the right to:
- A safe workplace.
- Report unsafe working conditions without fear of retaliation.
- Receive the necessary equipment and training.
- Access workplace injury and illness records.
- Request OSHA conduct a workplace inspection.
Labor Union Regulations
Florida is a right-to-work state, meaning that employees can choose whether or not to join a labor union.
Employee rights in relation to labor unions protected by law in Florida include:
- The right to join, form, or assist labor unions (or refrain from doing so).
- The right not to be discriminated against based on union membership or nonmembership.
Employment Contracts and Severance
Employment Contract Laws
Florida is an “at-will” employment state, meaning that both the employer and employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time for any legal reason (i.e., not discriminatory) or without any reason.
Oral, written, or implied employment contracts are automatic “at-will” agreements unless the parties expressly agree otherwise.
Written non-compete agreements are generally enforceable. To be enforceable, they must protect a legitimate business interest and be reasonable in terms of time, geographic area, and line of business.
Non-solicitation agreements are also enforceable if drafted correctly. Like non-compete agreements, they must protect a legitimate business interest and detail a reasonable timeframe and geographic area. Non-solicitation agreements also need to be written in clear and unambiguous language.
There are no laws in Florida requiring employers to pay employees severance pay when their employment ends.
Employers who choose to offer severance pay must comply with the relevant company policy and employment contract terms.
Severance pay may also be a requirement of a collective bargaining agreement, in which case an employer must comply with it.
Additional Laws That Might Apply to You
|Lactation Breaks||There are no state-based laws on lactation breaks in Florida. |
Instead, the FLSA applies and requires that feeding employees must be given reasonable break time and a separate room (not a bathroom) to express milk. This applies for up to 1 year after the child’s birth.
|Background Screening||At a state level, employers are allowed to conduct background checks (including checking criminal records) on potential employees and make hiring decisions based on these checks. |
However, several counties have “ban the box” laws that prevent public employers from asking about criminal convictions during the hiring process. These include the City of Lakeland, Orange County, and Gainesville.
|Mini-COBRA Laws||The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) ensures some employees’ health benefits continue for a limited time after the termination of their employment. It applies only to organizations with 20 or more employees. |
Florida’s Health Insurance Coverage Continuation Act (or “mini-COBRA”) offers continued health insurance coverage to eligible employees in organizations with less than 20 people for up to 18 months following their termination.
|Whistleblower Laws||Private employers in Florida are prohibited from taking any retaliatory action against an employee who reports illegal activity or policy violations. This includes disciplinary action or dismissal, as well as a demotion or a reduction in benefits.|
|Drug Testing||Employers with a drug-free workplace program must conduct workplace drug testing on current and potential employees in certain circumstances. |
This includes applicants who have received a conditional offer of employment. Employers must also test employees:Who they reasonably suspect of being under the influence of drugs.During routine fitness for duty medical appointments.To follow up after an employee enters a drug assistance or rehabilitation program.
Florida employers can also conduct random testing.
Employers must give employees written notice of the policy and the potential actions the employer will take if employees return a positive drug test.
Employers should follow the testing procedures set out in the legislation.
COVID-19 Related Laws and Regulations
As of June 1, 2023, state legislation in Florida protects employees’ medical freedom in the workplace.
Employers cannot force employees to undergo COVID-19 testing or mandate mask-wearing or vaccinations. Employers also cannot discriminate against employees based on their vaccination or immunity status.
Navigating Legal Issues and Resources
For further information on labor laws in Florida, you can visit:
- Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
- Florida Law Help, funded by the Florida Bar Foundation, which has a tool to help you find legal aid and pro bono assistance for employment-related legal questions.
- Florida Free Legal Answers, an online advice clinic run by the American Bar Association, where lawyers answer questions and issues on civil law—including employment law.
Florida labor laws are complex and constantly changing. In addition to state laws, federal and local laws and regulations can also apply to your situation—sometimes in conflict with each other.
It’s crucial you speak to your legal team or attorney to seek advice on what laws apply to your business and how you can best comply with them. This will help you meet your legal obligations as an employer in Florida and avoid any penalties for breaching them.
The information presented on this website about Florida labor laws is intended to be a summary for informational purposes only. However, laws and regulations regularly change and may vary depending on individual circumstances. While we have made every effort to ensure the information provided is up-to-date and reliable, we cannot guarantee its completeness, accuracy, or applicability to your specific situation. Therefore, we strongly recommend that readers seek guidance from their legal department or a qualified attorney to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Please note that we cannot be held liable for any actions taken or not taken based on the information presented on this website.