A new Florida law has been enacted in an effort to address employers' struggles to comply with a patchwork of local laws. Fla. Stat. § 218.077, as amended by 2013 Bill Text FL H.B. 655.
Effective July 1, 2013, Florida's cities and counties will be prohibited from establishing laws that would require most private-sector employers to pay a minimum wage other than the federal or state minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 and the state minimum wage is currently $7.79.
The new law also will prohibit Florida's local governments from requiring employers to provide any benefits - including health benefits, disability benefits, paid time off, retirement benefits and profit-sharing - beyond those required by state or federal law.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement that the new law "fosters statewide uniformity, consistency and predictability in Florida's employer-employee relationships."
The law applies to Florida's political subdivisions, which, in addition to the state's 283 cities and 67 counties include hundreds of towns, villages, school districts and special districts.
These political subdivisions are not prohibited from establishing minimum wages or benefits requirements for:
Their own employees;
The employees of contractors or subcontractors that provide goods or services for the political subdivisions under the terms of a contract;
The employees of employers receiving a direct tax abatement or subsidy from the political subdivisions as a condition of the abatement or subsidy; and
Domestic violence or sexual abuse ordinances adopted by the political subdivisions.
As a result, certain existing local laws will not be affected by the new prohibitions. Among them are a Miami-Dade County law that requires large employers to provide up to 30 days of unpaid leave each year to employees who are victims of violence for obtaining medical, dental or legal assistance or for attending court or counseling services.