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Employment relationship

State-specific laws
What state-specific laws govern the employment relationship?

Chapters 435 through 452 and Chapter 760 of the Florida Statutes.

Who do these cover, including categories of workers?

Depending on the statute, these laws cover employees, contractors, licensees, interns, apprentices, and volunteers.

Misclassification
Are there state-specific rules regarding employee/contractor misclassification?

Yes. Section 440.02(d)(1)(a) of the Florida Statutes defines “independent contractor” and “employee.” There are tax, re-employment assistance, and workers’ compensation implications associated with the classification of individuals as employees or independent contractors. An employer can be penalized for misclassification under Florida Administrative Code Rule (69L-6.018).

There are also implications regarding unemployment compensation. Although not formally adopted, the Florida Supreme Court has applied the “employee test” in Section 220 of the Restatement (Second) of Agency to determine whether an employee-employer relationship exists (Cantor v. Cochran, 184 So. 2d 173 (Fla. 1966)). 

Contracts
Must an employment contract be in writing?

No, unless the term of employment will exceed one year.

Are any terms implied into employment contracts?

All contracts contain an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  

Are mandatory arbitration agreements enforceable?

Yes—normal contract principles apply. Employment itself suffices as consideration for an arbitration agreement; however, when ruling on a motion to compel arbitration, Florida courts apply the same analysis used under the Federal Arbitration Act.

How can employers make changes to existing employment agreements?

Basic contract principles govern modifications of at-will employment agreements. Employees must have notice of and accept modifications. 

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