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Florida Workplace Compliance
News & Resources

There’s nowhere quite like Florida. The Sunshine State is a lush, diverse place teeming with natural splendor and economic opportunity. From bustling cities to quiet beaches, humid wetlands to luxury hotels, amusement parks to raceways to rocket launch pads, Florida has it all.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Florida also presents employers with greater-than-average operational challenges and regulatory risks. Extreme temperatures, unpredictable weather conditions, and a large concentration of specialized, dangerous industries—including construction, agriculture, maritime, and more—all mean the serious potential for safety accidents and violations. Keep your workers safe and stay on the right side of the law with KPA’s safety and workforce compliance resources.

Stay on top of safety and compliance the right way with this Florida-specific information but be sure to seek legal counsel when you’re looking for how these changes will directly impact your business. Wherever available, KPA products are updated with the latest government notices and posters for employers.

Florida COVID News

Who: Florida employers and employees

When: Effective immediately

What: On November 18th, 2021 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 1-B, requiring employers that mandate COVID-19 vaccination requirements for their employers to offer additional exemptions. Per the new law, employers must provide employees with an exemption statement to opt out of COVID-19 vaccination. The order expires on June 1st, 2023 with a possibility of extension.

The new exemptions include medical reasons, religious objection, COVID-19 immunity, periodic testing, and the use of PPE while at work.

To provide an exemption for medical reasons, employees are required to provide employers with a statement signed by a medical professional declaring that the COVID-19 vaccine is not in the best interest of the employee.  Per the order, employers are required to provide either the exemption forms provided by the Department of Health or exemption forms of similar content.

Employees who claim an exemption due to COVID-19 immunity must provide proof as “documented by the results of a valid laboratory test performed on the employee.” The Department of Health has yet to establish a standard to determine COVID-19 immunity.

Under this new law, businesses of fewer than 100 employees may face fines of up to $10,000 for wrongful termination of employees who provide an exemption, as directed by the Florida Department of Legal Affairs. Businesses with employees of 100 or more may be fined up to $50,000 per wrongful termination.

Federal vaccine mandate requirements for employers may preempt HB 1-B, which only allow vaccination exemptions for conflicting medical conditions and religious beliefs. OSHA’s Emergency Testing Standard may also conflict with the parameters of HB 1-B moving forward.

On December 2nd, 2021, the Florida Department of Legal Affairs issued a Notice of Emergency Rule that clarifies independent contractors as separate entities from employees of private businesses. The Emergency Rule also defines employee resignation under duress and employee resignation due to difficult and intolerable working conditions as “functional equivalents of termination.”

The Florida Department of Legal Affairs has also opened an online form for employees to report employer violations related to vaccination mandates. Additionally, the Department has also issued an FAQ guidance on the law and has provided more detailed rules for receiving, investigating, and adjudicating employee complaints.


  • Review your current policies and procedures and update them to comply with the new bill.
  • Educate and inform your employees about state mandates and safety protocols.
  • Familiarize yourself with federal vaccine mandates and OSHA standards for potential conflicts with this new law.

Additional Resources:

HB 1-B

Notice of Emergency Rule

Private Employer Vaccine Mandate Program FAQs

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Forms

Florida HR News

Who: Florida employers

When: Effective September 30, 2023

In November 2020, Florida voters approved Amendment 2, which provides for annual increases to the minimum wage. On September 30, 2023, the Florida minimum wage will increase from $11.00 per hour to $12.00 per hour.

The minimum wage will increase by $1.00 per hour every year until 2026, when it reaches the maximum of $15.00 per hour. It will remain at $15.00 per hour through the end of 2027. Starting in 2028, it will be indexed to the applicable Consumer Price Index.

The tipped minimum wage remains the regular minimum wage minus the $3.02 per hour tip credit.


  • Monitor for the release of the new Florida minimum wage poster and post it in the workplace.

Additional Resources:

Amendment 2 in 2020

Florida’s Minimum Wage

Who: Florida private employers with 25 or more employees

When: Effective July 1, 2023

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 1718 into law on May 10, 2023, which impacts private employers with 25 or more employees. Private employers must use E-Verify starting July 1, 2023, to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees within the first three work days.

The law defines an employee as “an individual filling a permanent position who performs labor or services under the control or direction of an employer that has the power or right to control and direct the employee in the material details of how the work is to be performed.” It does not apply to independent contractors and casual laborers.

Employers must maintain all E-Verify documentation for at least three years.

Employers that fail to use E-Verify three or more times in any 24-month period can be fined $1,000 per day, effective July 1, 2024. The bill authorizes the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to impose penalties if a person knowingly employs, hires, recruits, or refers an individual unauthorized to work for private or public employment. Additionally, the DEO is authorized to impose the following civil penalties:

  • Compel repayment of economic development incentives;
  • Place the employer on probation for a one-year period, during which time they must report quarterly to prove compliance; and
  • In cases where a violation occurs within 24 months of a previous violation, revoke or suspend all licenses issued by a licensing agency.


  • Enroll in and start using the E-Verify system by July 1, 2023.

Additional Resources:

SB 1718


Who: Florida residents

When: Effective July 1, 2023

On April 3, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 543 into law, effective July 1, 2023. The law allows residents of Florida to carry a concealed weapon without a government-issued permit—the 26th state to pass such a law. Employers may not:

  • Make employment conditional on whether an employee is authorized to carry a concealed weapon or firearm;
  • Prohibit applicants or employees from keeping a legal firearm locked inside a personal vehicle in the parking lot for lawful purposes;
  • Prohibit customers, invitees, or employees from entering an employer parking lot with a concealed legal firearm inside their personal vehicle for legal purposes, as long as it is out of sight;
  • Violate the privacy rights of employees or customers by searching a personal vehicle;
  • Take action against employees or customers based on information they received that the person has stored a firearm in their personal vehicle in the employer parking lot, as long as it is for lawful purposes; or
  • Discriminate against, discharge, or eject an employee or customer for exercising their constitutional right to carry a legal firearm or to exercise their right to self-defense, as long as they do not exhibit a firearm on employer property for any reason other than lawful self-defense.

The law does not apply to:

  • Property owned or leased by employers or their landlords when there are substantial activities conducted on the property that relate to national defense, aerospace, or homeland security;
  • Vehicles owned, leased, or rented by employers or their landlords; or
  • Any other property owned or leased by employers or their landlords when the possession of firearms is prohibited under:
    • Federal law,
    • A contract with a federal government entity, or
    • Florida law.

The Florida Attorney General is responsible for enforcing the provisions on weapons in employer parking lots and can initiate a civil or administrative action against an employer. The Attorney General can order a violator to stop violations and pay damages, fines, attorneys’ fees, and court costs. Employees can bring a private cause of action against their employer for violating the law and may be entitled to all reasonable personal costs and losses caused by the employer’s violations, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.


  • Update your employee handbook and workplace violence policies to comply with the law.

Additional Resources:

HB 543

Who: Florida employers

When: Effective immediately

Effective September 30, 2022, the Florida minimum wage increased from $10.00 per hour to $11.00. Tipped workers’ minimum wage increased from $6.98 per hour to $7.98 hour.

Florida will raise its minimum wage by one dollar per hour each year until it reaches $15.00 per hour in 2026.

Florida employers must post the updated minimum wage poster in a place that is accessible to employees.


  • Ensure that you are paying non-exempt employees the new rate.
  • Monitor the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity website for publication of the required poster.

Additional Resources:

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Display Posters and Required Notices

Who: Florida employers with 15 or more employees

When: Effective immediately

On August 18, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker ruled on the, Inc. v. DeSantis case and placed a preliminary injunction on the Stop WOKE Act. The ruling prohibits enforcement of the Act, based on the fact that it violates citizens’ right to free speech provided by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and contains vague, undefined terms that violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process clause.

The Stop WOKE Act prohibits subjecting individuals to a number of concepts that are defined in HB 7, including concepts based on race, color, sex, or national origin, as well as prohibiting certain related activities.

The implications of the ruling for private employers are:

  • Employers can continue to provide diversity, equity, and inclusion training without fear of violating the Act and facing a lawsuit for the time being.


  • Monitor for an appeal of the preliminary injunction ruling.

Additional Resources:

HB 7, Inc. v. DeSantis Ruling

Who: Florida employers with 15 or more employees

When: Effective July 1, 2022

What: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Stop WOKE (Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees) Act on April 22, 2022. The law amends Florida Civil Rights Act Statute Section 760.10. The language in the Act is similar to Executive Order 13950 (Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping), which was revoked by President Biden on January 20, 2021.

Effective July 1, 2022, the law applies to public and private employers with 15 or more employees. It prohibits an employer to require a worker—as a condition of employment, membership, certification, licensing, credentialing, or passing an examination—to participate in training or any required activity that promotes or compels the worker to believe in a number of concepts. The concepts are defined in HB 7, as follows:

  1. Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another race, color, sex, or national origin.
  2. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
  3. An individual’s moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.
  4. Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, color, sex, or national origin.
  5. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears responsibility for, or should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of, actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, sex, or national origin.
  6. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.
  7. An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.
  8. Such virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race, color, sex, or national origin to oppress members of another race, color, sex, or national origin.

Employers can include these subjects in training materials if they address them in an objective manner and do not endorse the concepts. If the employer endorses the concepts, the training must be voluntary, not mandatory.

Violations are subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation. Employees may pursue their own administrative or civil actions, with damages up to $100,000, as long as they file within 365 days of the alleged violation.


  • Update EEO policies according to the law and seek legal counsel.
  • Review your DE&I training materials and seek legal counsel to ensure compliance with the law.
  • Monitor for updates or additional guidance, as there have been legal challenges to the law.

Additional Resources:

HB 7

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