Proposed to the Florida State Affairs Committee in February 2013, House of Representatives Bill HB 655 seeks to prohibit any political subdivision, such as a county, municipality, commission, or department, from enacting any local laws requiring employers to provide any employment benefits that are not otherwise required by state or federal law. If this bill becomes law, ordinances such as the Miami- Dade Wage Theft Ordinance (effective February 28, 2010) and proposed ordinances for paid sick time, such as those pending in Orange County and Miami-Dade, would become illegal.
Other Florida Proposed Bills on the Horizon
Other bills that may be of importance to employers and the human resources profession include:
- SB 70/HB 613 – The Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act would require the Department of Economic Opportunity to provide information to employers on how to eliminate pay disparities between men and women. It creates a governor’s award for pay equity.
- SB 72/HB 561 – The Fair Employment Opportunity Act would prohibit discrimination against persons based on their having been unemployed.
- SB 100 – This bill would prohibit employers from utilizing credit reports or credit history in making employment decisions (with exceptions) or requiring an applicant or employee to post a bond to indemnify the employer.
- SB 130/HB 261 – This bill would amend the definition of “good cause” in the Florida unemployment law to permit employees to leave their employment due to domestic violence and still be eligible to recover unemployment benefits.
- SB 308/HB 149 – The Safe Work Environment Act would create a cause of action for “abusive workplace environment” and include injunctive relief, other damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. (SB 308 is limited to public employers; HB 149 is not.)
- SB 532 – This bill would prohibit employers from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history or to include such an inquiry on an employment application. Under the proposal, consideration of criminal history is allowed only after the applicant’s qualifications have been screened and it is determined the person meets the minimum requirements for the job.
- SB 710/HB 653 – The Competitive Workforce Act would amend the Florida Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as protected characteristics.
- SB 726 – This bill would prohibit political subdivisions from requiring or regulating family medical leave benefits.
- SB 774/HB 717 – The Protect Our Women Act would expand the definition of sex in the Florida Civil Rights Act to include pregnancy or medical conditions relating to childbirth.
- SB1216/HB1125 – This bill would create a cause of action for wage theft and provide for new court procedures for collection of wages.