As we have previously discussed in this Broward County Employment Law Blog, several Florida counties have enacted or worked on local ordinances regarding wages and sick time. In Miami-Dade and Broward counties, ordinances exist that require companies that work with the counties to pay workers wages that are higher than the federal minimum wage. In Orange County, a bill has been introduced that would require many businesses to offer paid sick time to employees. The Florida House has now passed a bill that would prevent county governments from enacting such ordinances.
A similar bill is currently in the Senate, and if such a bill were to be passed into law, counties would no longer be able to legislate local wages and employment benefits.
The bill has been interpreted as a direct response to the sick-time measure that was recently introduced in Orange County, but if passed into law it might also affect the wages of Miami-Dade and Broward County employees who are currently earning wages mandated by the local living wage laws.
According to the Miami Herald, workers in Miami-Dade could see their wages drop from $12 an hour to $7.79 if state lawmakers enact this law.
Proponents of the bill have argued that it is necessary to keep the state from developing a patchwork of laws that vary from county to county.
It remains to be seen what might come of this legislation. For now, the wages of people in Florida might be governed by federal, state and local laws. Those who believe that their rights to certain wages or overtime pay may have been violated may benefit from talking to an employment law attorney about whether a possible claim exists under any wage laws.
Source: Miami Herald, "Legislature moves to end local 'living wage,' sick time laws," April 4, 2013
- Our law firm in South Florida handles wage claims as well as other employment law cases. More information is available on our Employment Law page.