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The Florida Approach to Work Leave for Employees

EmpLaw

Florida is an at-will employment state that generally allows employers to govern their own internal practices. This is particularly true in the domain of employee leave from work. To gain a firm understanding of this issue, the following sections will explore the Florida approach to multiple types of work leave, including vacation and holiday, sick, jury duty, voting and bereavement.

Vacation and Holiday Leave

Florida law does not require employers to provide employees with vacation or holiday leave. It does not matter whether such leave is paid or unpaid. By and large, Florida employers have complete freedom to design employment policies concerning vacation and holiday leave.

That being said, Florida law does require employers to abide by stated policies concerning vacation or holiday leave. In other words, if an employer provides such leave to their employees, then the employer must abide by the terms of their policies. If an employer refuses to comply with established policies, employees may have a legal cause of action.

Sick Leave

Florida law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave, whether on a paid or unpaid basis. But if an employer does provide a policy for sick leave, the employer must honor the policy in full.

Additionally, employers with at least 50 employees are required to adhere to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other federal obligations. For more information on the FMLA, interested readers are encouraged to review this Penichet Law blog post – What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?.

Jury Duty

Florida Statute 40.271 makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge, penalize or otherwise admonish an employee for jury duty.  But employers are not required to compensate employees for time off during jury duty.

Voting

Florida law does not require employers to provide employees with work leave to vote in elections. It does not matter whether voting leave occurs on a paid or unpaid basis.

Under Florida Statute 104.081, however, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees for exercising their right to vote. Furthermore, it is unlawful for employers to pressure or intimidate employees into voting for a particular candidate, bill or other cause. An employer who violates Florida Statute 104.081 may face criminal charges for a third-degree felony.

Bereavement

Florida law does not require employers to provide employees with bereavement leave, whether paid or unpaid. But as with the other types of leave mentioned previously, employers are free to construct their own internal policies. But if employers do create such policies, then they must live up to their end of the bargain.

Let Us Assist You with Your Case

If you have questions about employee leave in Florida, it can be highly beneficial to consult with an experienced employment lawyer. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Penichet Law in Miami for assistance.