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Gay Rights Advocates Score an Important Win in a Federal Appeals Court

In a major victory for gay rights advocates, an influential federal appeals court has decided that the principal federal law against employment discrimination protects gay as well as heterosexual employees. The federal Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in Manhattan, decided in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. on February 26 that…

Should Customer Tips Belong to Employers Rather Than to Servers and Bartenders?

Should restaurant wait staff and bartenders get to keep customer tips — or should the tips belong instead to their employers? Under current law the employees get to keep the tips, but under President Trump the United States Department of Labor (DOL) is considering a proposed new rule reversing existing practice. If a proposed new…

Time to Update Florida Minimum Wage Poster for 2018 – up to $8.25 an hour

Florida’s state minimum wage rises 15 cents to $8.25 an hour on January 1, 2018, an increase from $8.10 an hour in 2017. 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…

Florida Reemployment Tax Rate to Remain at its Lowest in 2018 for Third Year in a Row

Florida businesses will continue to pay a low rate for reemployment taxes next year for the third year in a row. The minimum tax rate will remain at $7.00 per employee in 2018. More than 60 percent of Florida’s employers will pay the minimum tax rate, which is the highest number of employers at the…

Miami Beach Minimum Wage Ordinance Held Invalid by a Second Court

Miami Beach’s audacious effort to give the city its own minimum wage law has crashed and burned in court for a second time, in an appeal. The Miami Beach City Commission had voted unanimously last year to create a new citywide minimum wage proposed by Mayor Philip Levine that was higher than both the state…

State Approves a 9.8% Decrease to Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premiums for Employers

State Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier has ordered a 9.8 percent decrease in the premiums that private employers pay for workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. The new rates will apply to both new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies effective in Florida as of January 1, 2018. “The Office will continue to monitor the marketplace…

New I-9 Form Must be Used by Employers Starting September 18, 2017

Employers are required to use the new version of the Form I-9 (dated 07/17/17) for all new employees beginning on Sept. 18, 2017. Although the changes to the Form I-9 are minimal, failure to use the new form can result in significant fines. The new form, provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services…

President Trump Scraps Obama Rule That Would Have Required More Gender, Race, And Ethnicity Pay Data To Be Collected

In one of a continuing series of actions moving away from the prior administration’s labor law policies, President Trump has canceled a requirement that employers provide the federal government additional gender, race, and ethnicity information about their compensation practices. The Obama Administration had approved a new policy on September 29, 2016, requiring employers with 100…

Florida Workers’ Compensation Premiums Going Up By 14.5%

Florida employers should expect a 14.5 percent increase in their workers’ compensation insurance premiums based on a new appellate court decision. The increase should become effective soon, unless another appeal is filed with the state Supreme Court. Florida’s First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee approved the increase on May 9 after, by coincidence, the…

Miami Beach Minimum Wage Law Ruled Invalid

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine’s campaign to establish a higher minimum wage for his city has run into a judicial roadblock, as a Miami judge has declared the local wage ordinance illegal and unenforceable. Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Peter R. Lopez ruled on March 27 that the Miami Beach ordinance that had established a separate…

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