Florida Leave Laws

January 8th 2024

Acknowledging the significance of employee well-being and fostering a productive work environment, the importance of taking time away from work cannot be emphasized enough.

When it comes to determining whether certain leaves are mandatory by law, each state in the US has its own set of regulations.

The objective of this article is to explore the legal responsibilities regarding leave in Florida and the various types of leave options accessible to employees.

It’s worth noting that there may be separate regulations that apply to employers in the public and private sectors.

In Florida, leave days are categorized into mandatory and non-mandatory, each having specific guidelines and prerequisites.

This Article Covers

Florida Required Leave
Florida Non-Required Leave

Florida Required Leave

Employers in Florida are mandated by law to provide their employees with certain types of leave. These include the following:

1. Holidays Leave (Public Employers) –

In Florida, all state branches and agencies are required to give their employees a paid day off on certain state and religious holidays.

In case any of these holidays occur on a Saturday, the previous Friday will be observed as a day off, while if it falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be observed as a day off.

The following are the official state holidays observed in Florida:

Florida State Official Holidays   Date
New Year’s Day January 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veterans Day November 11
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day December 25

2. Parental and Family Medical Leave –

  • Eligibility: State employees.
  • Duration: Up to six months of unpaid leave, but only after obtaining a written statement from a physician.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: An employee may utilize the family medical leave provision in cases of severe sickness or disease, whether it affects the employee or a family member.
    This also includes any physical or mental condition that necessitates care at home or a situation that may lead to death.
    Parental leave is reserved for the purpose of caring for a newborn infant, and it can be taken by either the father or the mother.
    It is unlawful for employers to terminate an employee’s employment due to pregnancy or to deny the granting of family medical leave.

3. Jury Service Leave –

  • Eligibility: Employees called to serve on a jury.
    However, full-time employees are not eligible for compensation for the first 3 days of their jury service.
    On the other hand, non-regular or part-time employees serving as jurors receive $15 per day for the first three days of their service.
    Additionally, jurors who serve beyond 3 days are compensated for the fourth day of their service and each subsequent day at a rate of $30 per day.
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the jury service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To serve on a jury or when subpoenaed as a witness.

4. Military Service Leave –

  • Eligibility: Florida employees have the right to take military leave without losing pay, vacation time, or sick leave.
  • Duration: Paid absence cannot exceed 240 working hours per year.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For necessary active duty or active duty training.

5. Emergency Response leave –

  • Eligibility: State agency workers.
  • Duration: A paid break lasting a maximum of 120 working hours in a 12-month time span.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To perform voluntary work in response to emergencies.

Florida Non-Required Leave

There are various types of leave that employers are not obligated to offer their employees. It remains at the discretion of the employer whether they wish to provide their employees with such leave or refrain from such provisions. These leaves include:

1. Vacation Leave –

There are no state laws in Florida requiring employers to provide vacation time, paid or unpaid.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t preclude employers from providing vacation or other similar benefits to their staff, which is often a mutually agreed upon arrangement between the employer and employee.

2. Sick Leave –

Federal law doesn’t state that employers have to give their workers paid or unpaid sick leave.
In the event that an employer decides to provide such leave, it is typically a mutually agreed-upon arrangement between the employer and the employee.

3. Holidays Leave (Private Employers)

Florida’s labor laws do not mandate private employers to provide their employees with paid or unpaid vacation time, nor do they oblige employers to compensate their employees with higher wages for working on holidays.

4. Voting Leave –

In Florida, there is no law that says employers have to give their workers paid or unpaid time off from work to vote.
Still, it is a third-degree felony to fire or threaten to terminate an employee who says he or she plans to vote or not vote in an election.

5. Grief and Bereavement Leave –

There is no legal provision in Florida that mandates employers to offer bereavement leave to their employees.
It is entirely at the discretion of the employer to decide how they handle bereavement leave benefits.

If you want to know more about the entitlements of employees in Florida, you can read our guides on your rights as a salaried employee in Florida, and your rights as an hourly employee in Florida. You can also learn more about Florida Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.