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Legislation / Govern Affairs
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Nick Feather


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Minimum Wage

SB 166 & HB 1441– Minimum Wage [Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez (Miami-Dade – Dist. 37) & Rep. Al Jacquet (Palm Beach - Dist. 88)] 

In addition to the rate of inflation adjustment, increases minimum wage by $1 on September 30, 2018 and by $1.50 each September 30 thereafter through 2022.

Laws Relating to Employment Discrimination

SB 594 & HB 393 – Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act [Sen. Linda Stewart (Orange – Dist. 13) & Reps. Lori Berman (Palm Beach – Dist. 90), Joseph Abruzzo (Palm Beach – Dist. 81), Tracie Davis (Duval – Dist. 13), Joseph Geller (Broward & Miami-Dade – Dist. 100), Amy Mercado (Orange – Dist. 48) and Carlos Smith (Orange – Dist. 49)]
Revises an existing law (§448.07) which prohibits wage rate discrimination based on gender to include discrimination based on gender identity.  The bills also  include prohibitions against “less favorable employment opportunities;” retaliation based on an employee’s discussing wages, inquiring about wages and encouraging others to exercise rights under the law; and pre-employment inquiries by employers relating to an applicant’s prior wages and benefits.  Further, the bills create civil penalties for violations.

SB 300 & HB 307 – Whistleblower & Florida Civil Rights Act Amendments [Sen. Daryll Ervin Rouson (Hillsborough & Pinellas – Dist. 19) & Rep. Bruce Antone (Orange – Dist. 46)]
Amends public sector Whistleblower Protection Act (Ch. 112) to increase time limit for filing complaints from 60 to 365 days and amends the Florida Civil Rights Act to codify rule that actions for discrimination must be commenced within four years after the alleged discriminatory act.

HB 225 – Discrimination Against Employees Who Evacuate [Reps. Tracie Davis (Duval – Dist. 13), John Cortes (Osceola – Dist. 43) and Evan Jenne (Broward – Dist. 99)] 
Prohibits employers from taking retaliatory action against employees who leave their place of employment to evacuate under an emergency evacuation order and return within 14 days.  Excludes law enforcement personnel, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics and other employees who are expected to provide emergency services to the public.  Permits a civil action for an injunction, back pay, compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.

Background Screening

SB 798 – Background Screening (a/k/a “Ban the Box”) [Sen. Oscar Braynon II (Parts of Broward and Miami Dade - Dist. 35)]
Prohibits employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history prior to the applicant’s initial interview and prior to making a conditional offer of employment.  Excludes: jobs where federal, state or local law require consideration of criminal history; law enforcement; criminal justice; and, volunteers.

HB 433 – Background Screening (a/k/a “Ban the Box”) [Rep. Patrick Henry (Volusia – Dist. 26)]
Prohibits employers from inquiring into an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application.  Permits an inquiry only after the employer determines the applicant meets the minimum requirements for the job.  There are no exclusions for specific types of jobs.

SB 702 – Background Screening by Public Employers and Postsecondary Educational Institutions [Sen. Gary Farmer (Broward – Dist. 34)]
Unless otherwise required by law, prohibits public employers from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an employment application.  Prohibits postsecondary educational institutions from inquiring into or considering the criminal history of an applicant seeking admission.

Tax Credits for Hiring

SB 318 & HB 49 – Internship Tax Credit [Sen. Bobby Powell (Palm Beach – Dist. 30) & Rep. Shevrin Jones (Broward – Dist. 101), Ramon Alexander (Gadsden & Leon – Dist. 8), John Cortes (Osceola – Dist. 43), Al Jacquet (Palm Beach – Dist. 88), Sean Shaw (Hillsborough – Dist. 61), Emily Slosberg (Palm Beach – Dist. 91), Matt Willhite (Palm Beach – Dist. 86)]
Provides a tax credit of at least $2,000 to employers hiring degree-seeking students as interns.

Solicitation of Charitable Contributions

SB 950 & HB 651 – State Employment [Sen. Debbie Mayfield (Brevard & Indian River – Dist. 17) & Rep. Clay Yarborough (Duval – Dist. 12)]
Prohibits solicitation of charitable contributions within work hours in working areas.  Does not prohibit non-coercive communications between employees or (in Senate Bill), solicitation at authorized public events in non-work areas.

Labor Organizations

SB 1036 & HB 25 – Labor Organizations [Sen. Greg Steube (Sarasota & Charlotte – Dist. 23) & Rep. Scott Plakon (Seminole – Dist. 29)]
Requires labor organizations registering with the state as the representative of a bargaining unit in the public sector to provide information regarding the percentage of its members who pay dues.  If the percentage drops below 50%, the labor organization must then petition the Public Employee Relations Commission for recertification as the representative of the bargaining unit.  Organizations failing to comply may have their certification revoked.

Employee Leasing Companies

SB 1098 & HB 923 – Employee Leasing Companies [Sen. Perry Thurston, Jr. (Broward – Dist. 33) & Rep. Newt Newton (Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas & Sarasota – Dist. 70)]
Revises employee leasing company contractual arrangements with client companies and provides that DBPR may make investigations, audits, or reviews of an employee leasing company at request of a client company.

HF FL Legislative Conference in Tallahassee

January 24 & 25, 2018



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