Florida employee benefits and HR rules

When evaluating your employee benefits options as a small or medium size business in Florida, you need to know which benefits are required in The Sunshine State. You also need to know which employment laws apply to your organization.

Want to provide personalized benefits that help you satisfy Florida benefits and HR laws? Schedule a free consultation with a personalized benefits advisor today.


Is your organization in compliance with Florida's employment laws?

As a Florida-based organization or an employer of Florida workers, you must familiarize yourself with benefits and HR compliance. This guide to Florida HR laws will provide a general overview of the laws you need to know.

Topics covered in this guide include:

What rights do employees have in Florida?

Employee rights are protected by both state and federal law. If you have workers or plan to hire in the state, you must know what rights your employees have.

Florida-specific state rights include:

  • State minimum wage
    • The Florida Minimum Wage Act provides additional protections on top of the federal minimum wage, requiring employers to pay non-exempt workers at least $11 per hour through 2023. The minimum wage increases by $1 per hour each year through 2026.
  • Whistleblower protections
    • Employees may disclose information to government agencies, provide testimony in connection with any investigation, and refuse to comply with a policy or task that violates state or federal law without retaliation, provided they spoke with a supervisor first to try and correct the problem.
  • Equal pay
    • Employers with two or more employees must provide equal pay for jobs that require the same skills, effort, job duties, and responsibilities.
    • There are exceptions for seniority, merit, earnings measured by quantity or quality of work, and other factors.
  • Weapons in the workplace
    • Employees are generally allowed to lawfully possess a firearm in their privately owned vehicle on their employer's property.
    • Employers can't ask if employees have a firearm in their vehicle, search for them, or prevent an employee from entering the parking lot because they have a lawful firearm in their vehicle.

What benefits are employers required to provide to Florida employees?

In addition to federal law, Florida employment law requires employers to provide eligible employees with certain employee benefits and accommodations.

Required benefits include:

  • Domestic violence leave (for organizations with more than 50 employees)
    • Employers must provide up to three days of leave per year
  • Jury duty leave (for organizations with five or more employees)
    • Employees must provide evidence of their jury summons to their employer.
  • Witness leave
  • Military leave
  • Civil Air Patrol leave (for organizations with 15 or more employees)
  • Healthcare continuation
    • The Florida Health Insurance Coverage Continuation Act requires employers with fewer than 20 employees to provide continued health coverage for up to 18 months.
    • The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) already requires organizations with 20 or more employees to provide continued health coverage in certain circumstances.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
    • Employers with four or more employees must provide workers’ compensation coverage.

Locally required employee benefits include:

  • Domestic violence leave in Miami-Dade County
    • Employees in Miami-Dade County may take up 30 days of leave per year if they or a family member is a victim of domestic violence.

Florida doesn’t require the following benefits:

  • Paid time off (PTO)
  • Sick leave
    • The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows certain employees to take up to 12 weeks off unpaid for eligible family and medical reasons.
  • Meal breaks or rest breaks (except for minors)
  • Health insurance benefits
    • While Florida doesn’t require employers to provide health insurance coverage, federal law requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) to do so.
  • Disability insurance
  • Retirement plans
    • Federal law requires employers to provide retirement benefits to certain eligible employees.

Why offer benefits to your Florida employees?

While Florida doesn’t require many employee benefits, it is still beneficial for employers to offer them. Benefits are an excellent way to attract and retain top talent, especially in a tight labor market. If you don’t offer the benefits your employees want, they’ll leave for a company that does.

When you offer a variety of benefits to your workers, they’ll have higher job satisfaction and increased productivity. This creates a more positive company culture.

Employee stipends are a simple way to offer various lifestyle benefits and perks to your workers. With stipends, you can offer an allowance for the benefits that matter most to your employees, such as professional development, transportation, health and wellness, or remote work expenses. With WorkPerks by PeopleKeep, you can easily set up and manage stipends for your employees. You can also create custom perks, such as a meal stipend or monthly pet allowance.

Health insurance coverage in Florida

Even though the state doesn’t require organizations to offer health insurance, federal laws mandate employers with 50 or more FTEs to provide insurance with minimum essential coverage (MEC).

Even if you run a small business, health benefits are most of the most sought-after employee benefits. Offering them can help you better attract and retain workers.

Traditional group health insurance is a popular option amongst Florida employers. However, rising premium costs and year-over-year rate hikes have made it more challenging for small to medium-sized businesses to offer a health benefit.

Luckily, there are a couple of alternatives for small business owners who can’t afford group coverage or desire more flexibility over their benefits.

Health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)

A health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) is an IRS-approved, employer-funded health benefit that allows you to reimburse your employees, tax-free, for their individual health insurance premiums and qualifying medical expenses.

With an HRA, you have complete control over your benefit while giving your employees more freedom to choose how they want to use their benefits.

Some HRAs, such as the individual coverage HRA (ICHRA), can satisfy the federal regulations for applicable large employers (ALEs).

Learn more about each HRA


For employers with 1-49 employees


A simple, controlled-cost alternative to group health insurance.




For employers of all sizes


A flexible health benefit that can be used alone or alongside group health insurance.




For employers offering group health insurance


A group health supplement to help employees with out-of-pocket expenses.



Health stipend

A health stipend is a fixed sum of money offered to your employees to help pay for their healthcare expenses. A health employee stipend isn't a formal group health plan, so you have complete control over which expenses are eligible for reimbursement. You can also offer them to international workers and independent contractors.

This makes a health stipend an excellent option for small businesses looking to offer a health benefit that covers costs health insurance or HRAs may not cover, such as certain mental health expenses. However, a stipend doesn’t satisfy the employer mandate for organizations with 50 or more FTEs.

You can also offer wellness stipends to reimburse your employees for expenses like gym memberships, fitness trackers, and more. This allows you to create a more holistic wellness program.


Learn the differences between a health stipend and a health reimbursement arrangement

Wage laws in Florida

Wages and hours worked in Florida are subject to various state and local laws. We’ve compiled the most important requirements to know in the sections below.

Florida state minimum wage laws

Florida has state minimum wage rates for non-exempt employees that exceed the federal minimum wage. Florida voters approved minimum wage increases through 2026.

Date in effect Minimum wage
September 30, 2023 $12/hour
September 30, 2024 $13/hour
September 30, 2025 $14/hour
September 30, 2026 $15/hour

Workers who earn tips don't need to be paid minimum wage. Instead, employers may pay tipped workers $7.98/hour before tips through September 30, 2023. However, they must earn at least the state minimum wage with tips.

Date in effect Tipped workers minimum wage
September 30, 2023 $8.98/hour + tips (must equal $12/hour)
September 30, 2024 $9.98/hour + tips (must equal $13/hour)
September 30, 2025 $10.98/hour + tips (must equal $14/hour)
September 30, 2026 $11.98/hour + tips (must equal $15/hour)

Employers may pay employees under the age of 20 a minimum wage of $4.25/hour for the first 90 days of employment. This is known as a training wage. After 90 days, youth workers must earn at least the state minimum wage. High school and college students who work part-time may be paid 85% of the state minimum wage for up to 20 hours each week.

Local governments are prohibited from setting their own minimum wage rates in Florida unless an exemption has been granted from the state legislature for specific employment contracts. Miami Beach passed a city minimum wage in 2016, but the state supreme court struck it down in 2019.

There are also state overtime requirements. All eligible employees who work more than 40 hours per week are entitled to at least 1.5 times their regular rate for overtime hours.

Child labor laws in Florida

In many cases, Florida has stricter child labor laws than the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates.

Minors aged 16 and 17 may not work during school hours and may only work up to 30 hours per week between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. when school follows the next day. Minors can't work more than six consecutive days. They also can’t work more than four consecutive hours without a 30-minute meal break.

Minors aged 14 and 15 can work up to 15 hours per week (and no more than three hours on school days) between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. when school follows the next day.

There are exceptions to these laws, however, such as when a minor has already graduated from high school.

Other HR rules in Florida

There are a few other HR rules you need to be aware of in Florida.

Immigration verification

Starting July 1, 2023, all private employers in Florida with at least 25 employees must use the federal E-Verify system to confirm that their employees are eligible to work in the U.S. Employers who fail to use the system at least three days in a two-year period could have up to a $1,000 fine per day.


Florida employers must adhere to federal laws regarding discrimination in the hiring process and the workplace. Employers can't discriminate on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, or other characteristics. Various Florida counties also prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, in addition to federal protections.

Protection from defamation

Employers in Florida are protected from defamation for making comments about current or former employees that were made in good faith.

Drug testing

Florida prohibits employers from forcing a job applicant to take a drug test. However, employers can make a drug test a condition of employment when offering the job.


Frequently asked questions

Does Florida have its own labor laws?

Yes, Florida has a number of employment and labor laws that aim to protect workers. Florida workers are also protected by federal law, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Can you be fired for no reason in Florida?

Yes. Florida is an at-will employment state, meaning that employees can quit at any time, and employers can fire employees at any time with or without cause. However, your employer can’t fire you on the basis of age, race, sex, national origin, disability, gender, pregnancy, color, sexual orientation, or identity.

What is the longest shift you can legally work in Florida?

Florida doesn’t regulate the number of hours you can work continuously. However, eligible employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 10 hours in a single day.

What are my rights as an employee in Florida?

In Florida, workers have the right to fair wages, safety from discrimination, whistleblower protections, and equal pay.

How do I file a complaint against my employer in Florida?

You can file a federal labor complaint through the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division online or by calling 1-866-487-9243. Florida has no state agency for enforcing regulations of wages and hours worked.

This guide is general in nature and shouldn’t be taken as legal advice. You should always consult with an attorney to determine which employment laws are applicable to your organization.


Looking to enhance your benefits package?

Speak with a PeopleKeep personalized benefits advisor who can help you answer questions, and help you select the right benefits package for your team.