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Florida’s 2015 legislative session started in March with many employment-related measures being introduced. They include:

SB 98, HB 25: Employment Discrimination Creating the Helen Gordon Davis Fair Pay Protection Act recognizing the importance of the Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Commission on Human Relations in ensuring fair pay; creating the Governor’s Recognition Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace; and requiring that the award be given annually to employers in Florida who have engaged in activities that eliminate barriers to equal pay for equal work for women

SB 114, HB 47: State Minimum Wage Increasing the state’s hourly minimum wage to $10.10.

SB 156, HB 33: Prohibited Discrimination Revising the Florida Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as protected characteristics; and prohibiting discrimination based on perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, handicap, or marital status.

SB 192, SB 246, HB 1: Texting While Driving Revising penalties for violations of the Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law to include enhanced penalties when the violation is committed in a school zone and removing requirement that provisions be enforced as secondary action by law enforcement.

SB 214, HB977: Discrimination in Employment Screening (“Ban the Box”) Prohibiting an employer from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application, unless required to do so by law.

SB 356, HB 121: Employment of Felons Providing incentives for employment of person previously convicted of felony.

SB 456, HB 325: Labor Pools Revising the methods by which labor pools are to compensate day laborers.

SB 528, HB 683: Medical Use of Marijuana Permitting medical use of marijuana and providing licensure requirements for growers and retailers.

SB 890, HB 455: Florida Overtime Act of 2015 Requiring payment of time-and-one-half an employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight in a day, over 40 in a work week, or on the seventh day of any workweek.

SB 892, HB 297: Safe Work Environments Subjecting employees to an “abusive work environment” is made an unlawful employment practice, and retaliation for reporting the practice is prohibited.

SB982, HB 625: Discrimination Based on Pregnancy Amending the Florida Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. (The Florida Supreme Court in 2014 held that the Act protects against pregnancy discrimination.)

SB1318, HB 589: State Minimum Wage Making it a third degree felony to procure labor for less than minimum wage, i.e., “with intent to defraud or deceive a person.”

SB1396, HB 433: Employment Discrimination Amending the Florida Civil Rights Act to include unpaid interns within the definition of “employee.”

SB1490, HB 1185: Florida Healthy Working Families Act (“Mini FMLA”) Requiring employers to provide sick and safe leave to employees and creating a complaint procedure, plus a civil cause of action for damages and fees in the event of a violation. Employers of more than nine employees must provide paid sick and safe leave; employers of nine or fewer employees must provide unpaid sick and safe leave.

SB 126: Social Media Privacy Among other things, prohibiting an employer from requesting or requiring access to a social media account of an employee or prospective employee under certain circumstances.

SB 1096: Unemployment Compensation Prohibiting disqualification of victims of domestic violence from receiving benefits if they leave work voluntarily.

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