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New Florida Employment Law Changes Taking Effect July 1, 2024

New Florida Employment Law Changes Taking Effect July 1, 2024By: Scott Atwood, Esq.

Staying abreast of the latest legal developments is crucial for businesses and workers in Florida. One significant legislative change on the horizon is the new employment law bill, CS/HB 433, set to take effect on July 1, 2024. This legislation introduces several pivotal provisions that employers must be aware of to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal pitfalls.

Preemption of Local Employment Regulations

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the new law is the preemption of employment regulations at the state level. This means that local governments in Florida will no longer have the authority to enact their own rules and ordinances concerning terms and conditions of employment. This includes areas such as minimum wage requirements, workplace benefits, or heat exposure standards for private employers.

By centralizing the regulation of these employment matters under the state government, the legislation aims to create a more uniform and consistent regulatory environment for businesses operating throughout Florida. Local municipalities will be prohibited from imposing stricter standards or requirements on private employers beyond what is established at the state level. This move is intended to simplify compliance for businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions within the state, reducing the administrative burden of adhering to a patchwork of local ordinances.

Contractor Preference Restrictions

The legislation also addresses the issue of contractor preferences in public procurement processes. Under the new law, local governments will be prohibited from giving preferential treatment to contractors based on the wages or employment benefits they provide to their employees. This change aims to level the playing field for all contractors bidding on public projects, ensuring that the selection process is based on the merits of the bid rather than the compensation practices of the contractor.

This provision is designed to promote fairness and competition in the public procurement process. By eliminating local preferences for contractors based on their employment practices, the law seeks to ensure that all contractors have an equal opportunity to compete for public contracts. This could lead to increased competition and potentially lower costs for public projects, benefiting taxpayers and the public at large.

Heat Exposure Regulations

Another critical area addressed by the new law is the regulation of workplace heat exposure. The state government will now have exclusive authority to set rules and guidelines related to heat exposure for private employers. This preemption prevents local governments from imposing their own heat exposure regulations on private businesses, except in cases where such regulations are necessary to receive federal funding for their own employees or contractors.

This provision is particularly relevant for businesses operating in Florida’s hot and humid climate. By establishing a uniform set of heat exposure regulations at the state level, the law aims to ensure that all workers are protected from the dangers of heat stress and heat-related illnesses, regardless of where they work in the state. Employers will need to stay informed about the specific requirements and guidelines established by the state to ensure compliance and protect the health and safety of their employees.

Implications for Employers

These changes have significant implications for employers operating in Florida. By centralizing employment regulations at the state level, businesses can expect a more consistent and uniform set of rules across the state, reducing the complexity of compliance and the risk of inadvertent violations.

However, it is important to note that the preemption of local regulations does not affect an employer’s ability to voluntarily provide higher wages, better benefits, or enhanced workplace protections beyond the state’s minimum requirements. Employers are still free to adopt policies and practices that exceed the state’s standards if they choose to do so. The new law simply prevents local governments from mandating such standards for private employers.

Preparing for the Changes

As the effective date of July 1 approaches, employers should take proactive steps to review their policies and practices to ensure compliance with the new state-level regulations. This may involve updating employee handbooks, revising employment contracts, and providing training to managers and supervisors on the new requirements.

Consulting with an experienced employment law attorney can help businesses navigate these changes and mitigate potential legal risks. An attorney can provide guidance on how to implement the new regulations in a way that minimizes disruption to business operations and ensures compliance with the law. By staying informed and proactive, employers can position themselves for success in the evolving legal landscape of Florida’s employment laws.

For assistance with understanding and complying with the new employment law changes, employers may reach out to me at to schedule a consultation.

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