Florida may join Wisconsin and Indiana in putting the kibosh on local leave and attendance laws in their states. On May 2, 2013, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 655, which prevents Florida’s political subdivisions from requiring private employers to provide employees with disability, sick leave or “personal necessity” benefits, among others. The bill, which would be effective on July 1, 2013, is awaiting Governor Scott’s signature.
Florida’s interest in restricting political subdivisions from acting independently on workplace issues began in 2003, when, in response to “living wage” ordinances passed by municipalities in other states, Florida passed a law prohibiting local governments from establishing minimum wage levels for private employers in their individual jurisdictions. Allowing municipalities to do so “would threaten to drive businesses out of these communities and out of the state in search of a more favorable and uniform business environment,” according to the introductory provisions of that bill.