Florida voters once again showed their approval for a progressive ballot initiative.  Florida’s Amendment 2, which proposed a gradual increase of Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, received more than 60% approval by voters and therefore passed on November 3, 2020.  Amendment 2 received 60.8% of the vote, which was considerably more than President Trump who received 51.2% voter approval in Florida.

Florida’s Amendment 2 will increase Florida’s minimum wage from $8.56 an hour to $10 an hour beginning on September 30, 2021.  Thereafter, Florida’s minimum wage will increase by $1 an hour per year until it reaches $15 an hour.  The federal minimum wage is currently at $7.25 per hour.

 

While its a tradition for Florida voters to pass progressive ballot initiatives, it also is a tradition for Florida’s Republican controlled state legislature to defang those initiatives.   As such, Florida businesses will have to wait and see how Florida’s state legislature defines “employer” and “employee” and whether the legislature moves to exempt certain industries or make other efforts to reduce the coverage of Amendment 2.

 


Dori K. Stibolt is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Dori defends and counsels management in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to wage and overtime claims, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, and whistle-blower claims.  You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or dstibolt@foxrothschild.com.

 

As of October 1, 2020, the eviction/foreclosure ban in place since April has been lifted by Florida’s Governor.   See my post for more.

 


Dori K. Stibolt is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Dori defends and counsels management in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to wage and overtime claims, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, and whistle-blower claims.  You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or dstibolt@foxrothschild.com.

 

Governor Ron DeSantis has extended his narrowed eviction/foreclosure ban, due to COVID19 for another month.  See my post for more.

 


Dori K. Stibolt is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Dori defends and counsels management in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to wage and overtime claims, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, and whistle-blower claims.  You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or dstibolt@foxrothschild.com.

 

Florida finally issues regulations that permit the sale of edible cannabis products.  See my post at Fox’s In the Weeds.


Dori K. Stibolt is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Dori defends and counsels management in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to wage and overtime claims, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, and whistle-blower claims.  You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or dstibolt@foxrothschild.com.

Governor  Ron DeSantis has extended, but narrowed, the eviction/foreclosure ban related to COVID-19.  See my post for more.


Dori K. Stibolt is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Dori defends and counsels management in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to wage and overtime claims, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, and whistle-blower claims.  You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or dstibolt@foxrothschild.com.

With dramatic increases in COVID19 cases in Florida, three counties in South Florida (Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe) have modified or rolled back their reopening plan.  See my post for more.


Dori K. Stibolt is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Dori defends and counsels management in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to wage and overtime claims, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, and whistle-blower claims.  You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or dstibolt@foxrothschild.com.

I’ve posted about Emotional Support Animals (“ESA”) before, see my posts here , here and here.   I keep coming back to this topic because emotional support chickens, peacocks on planes and little dogs at the grocery store (a common sight in Florida during the winter season) fascinate me.   Now comes news that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that may end up limiting ESAs at your local condo complex.

SB 1084 , was signed by Gov. DeSantis on June 23, 2020, and provides for the following changes to Florida Housing Law:

  • Section 817.265 of the Florida Statutes is amended to provide that a person who falsifies information or written documentation or who knowingly provides fraudulent information or written documentation to obtain an ESA or otherwise knowingly and willfully misrepresents himself or herself as having a disability or a disability related need for an ESA commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.
  • Section 456.072 of the Florida Statues is amended to provide that  a health professional who provides information, including written documentation, indicating that a person has a disability or which documentation supports a person’s need for an ESA without personal knowledge of the person’s disability is subject to disciplinary action.
  • SB 1084 further amends Section 760.27 of the Florida Statutes to defines an ESA as “an animal that does not require training to do work, perform tasks, provide assistance, or provide therapeutic emotional support by virtue of its presence which alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.”
  • SB 1084 also provides cover for home owner or condo associations to deny a reasonable accommodation request for an ESA if the animal being requested poses a “direct threat to the safety or health of others or poses a direct threat of physical damage to the property of others which threat cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable accommodation.”
  • SB 1084 permits home owner or condo associations to request supporting information for the ESA if a person’s disability is not readily apparent.
  • Additionally, the practitioner or provider of the supporting information for the ESA must have personal knowledge of the person’s disability and must be acting within the scope of his or her practice.
  • If a resident requests more than one ESA, he or she must provide supporting information for each animal.
  • The association may also require proof that each ESA is properly licensed and vaccinated.
  • Persons with ESAs are liable for any damage done to the premises or to another person by the ESA.
  • No fee will be required for ESAs under SB 1084.

This new law was mainly the result of many years of efforts from  the Florida Realtors group.  Realtors have been concerned about the continued use of ESA Certificates that can simply be downloaded after a purchase from on-line providers who have no relationship with the resident seeking the ESA.  Additionally, the recent explosion of ESAs  requested by condo or apartment residents has basically nullified the ability for landlords or residents (who may have allergies or other issues) to designate a housing complex as pet or animal free.

It will be interesting to see the litigation that will likely spin off as a result of this new law as the issue of ESAs is certainly not yet settled.  And, this new law doesn’t address ESAs in restaurants or stores (which are already not permitted, but often confused for service dogs or animals).

 


Dori K. Stibolt is a partner with the law firm of Fox Rothschild LLP.  Dori defends and counsels management in labor and employment litigation matters pertaining to wage and overtime claims, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, leave/restraint, and whistle-blower claims.  You can contact Dori at 561-804-4417 or dstibolt@foxrothschild.com.

With talk about allowing some businesses to reopen, employers will need to plan for employees to return to in-person work.   Some of those employees will likely be those who have previously tested positive for COVID19.

See this post from Fox’s  Randall C. Schauer, explaining the guidance for how and whether to bring COVID19 positive employees back to work.

 

Fox Rothschild LLP has established a coronavirus resource center.  If you have questions regarding new paid sick leave obligations, whether your business is essential or not, or how to address data protection obligations while you work from home, please check our resource center.

The resource page will be updated frequently with links to free webinars, alerts and blog posts. Bookmark this page and visit regularly for new and updated information.