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Total Articles: 10

eLABORate: Florida Increases Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in the State of Florida will increase to $8.25 per hour, a 15 cent increase from the 2017 rate. Florida law requires the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to calculate a minimum wage rate each year. The annual calculation is based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to September 1, 2017. Although Florida has raised the state minimum wage, the federal minimum wage most likely will remain at $7.25 for an undetermined period.

Florida’s Minimum Wage to Increase on January 1, 2018

Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that created Florida’s minimum wage in November of 2004. The minimum wage applies to all employees in the state covered by the federal minimum wage. Florida law requires a new minimum wage calculation each year on September 30, based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to September 1. If that calculation is higher than the federal rate, the state’s rate takes effect the following January.

Florida Supreme Court Extends Reach of Noncompetes in Health Care Industry

Home health service referrals can be a legitimate business interest protected under a noncompetition agreement, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled. The finding strengthens the hand of Sunshine State employers that seek to protect their businesses from departing employees looking to aid a competitor.

eLABORate: Florida Supreme Court Endorses Employer's Right to Protect Industry-Specific Business Interests with Restrictive Covenants

Florida permits employers to enforce non-compete and non-solictation agreements (restrictive covenants) as exceptions to a general prohibition on restraints of trade, so long as the restrictions fall within the parameters of Florida Statute 542.335. Among other limitations, the statute permits enforcement of restrictive covenants only so long as they protect “legitimate business interests.” The statute provides a non-exhaustive list of examples of “legitimate business interests,” but lower courts in Florida have diverged over whether information that an employer contends is a “legitimate business interest” is included within the scope of that definition when it is not among the statute’s listed examples. The Florida Supreme Court recently shed new light on this topic.

Non-Compete News - Florida Supreme Court Holds Referral Sources Are Legitimate Business Interests Under Florida's Non-Compete Statute

Executive Summary: On Thursday, September 14, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court held that referral sources can be valid legitimate business interests under Florida’s non-compete statute, potentially warranting enforcement of a restrictive covenant/non-compete agreement. In determining whether referral sources can be legitimate business interests, the Court closely analyzed the statute’s plain language and engaged in a fact- and industry-specific inquiry.

Florida Workplace Trends 2017: The One Question Employers Should Be Asking

In 2017, the HR and employment law landscape in Florida has been changed by a number of new measures coming into effect, including:

New Florida Law Aims to Put Brakes on ADA Barrier-to-Access Lawsuits

Responding to the alarming proliferation of lawsuits in Florida alleging that places of public accommodations create barriers to access to disabled patrons, Florida has adopted what appears to be the first law in the country attempting to provide some defense to beleaguered businesses.

Florida Enacts Law to Implement Provisions of its Medical Marijuana Amendment, but Significant Questions Remain for Employers

Executive Summary: Late last week Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill intended to implement provisions of the medical marijuana constitutional amendment that was approved by Florida voters last November (Amendment 2).

eLABORate: Florida Provides Welcome New Guidance to Employers on Medical Marijuana

Florida has joined the rapidly-increasing number of states to legalize medical marijuana for the treatment of a broad class of “debilitating medical conditions.” On June 23, 2017, Florida Governor Rick Scott approved a bill setting forth implementation guidelines for the state’s recent constitutional amendment broadening access to legal medical marijuana.

The St. Petersburg Wage Theft Ordinance: New Notice and Poster Requirements

The City of St. Petersburg, Florida, recently amended its wage theft ordinance to require employers to provide pay notice to employees at the time of hire and to display “in a location accessible to all employees” a poster about wage theft. See St. Pete. Code, Chap. 15, Art. III, Sec. 15-40, et seq. These requirements are not yet in effect. As detailed below, the effective date is on hold pending the completion of a memorandum of understanding by the City, which is engaging a “community-based” organization to “implement the purposes of this article.”