How Do Laws Regulate My Workplace?

You can expect to work in a safe environment.  Private employers may be fined for unsafe working conditions under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act.  The Florida Workers’ Compensation law (Chapter 440, Fla. Stat.) provides protection for workers injured on the job. You must notify your employer immediately to ensure your rights are protected.…

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Are there laws governing how much I must be paid?

Yes. There is a both a federal and Florida minimum wage for covered employees. (§29 USC 201, et. seq. and § 448.110, Fla. Stat.) The 2017 minimum wage is $8.10 per hour, effective January 1, 2017.

Will I be given a written employment contract?

Typically, no.  Most employers do not issue written contracts.  Instead, in Florida, employees are presumed to be “at will.” At-will employees may be terminated for any reason, so long as it’s not illegal. Generally, employees who do work under an employment contract (which includes a union contract for workplaces that have unions) can only be…

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So what are some of the illegal reasons that employers cannot use as a basis for firing someone?

Generally, Florida employers are prohibited from refusing to hire, firing, or otherwise taking adverse action against employees because of discrimination based on your race, sex, age, religion, national origin, handicap, disability, marital status, pregnancy, jury service, or possessing the sickle cell trait. (§§ 40.271, 448.07, 448.075; and 448.102, Fla. Stat., and Ch. 760, Fla. Stat.).…

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Can my background be checked?

Yes, but background checks done by consumer reporting agencies for employers are generally governed by the federal fair Credit reporting Act. See http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0157-employment-background-checks. For certain occupations, Florida law specifies the type and level of checks to be conducted. If an employer conducts a background check and determines you are disqualified for the position based on…

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At what age can a minor begin work?

Minors can begin working for a business entity at the age of 14, but are limited in the types of jobs they may perform and the hours they may work. For more information regarding the limitations of working minors, and your rights under the child labor law, contact the Child Labor Section at (800) 226-2536,…

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Am I entitled to a break at work?

Yes, if you are a minor. Florida law requires that minors work no more than four consecutive hours without a 30-minute uninterrupted break.  See Chapter 450, Part I, Fla. Stat., generally.  Once an employee reaches 18 years of age, neither state nor federal law makes provisions for breaks except in certain regulated occupations, like commercial…

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