If you are an employer in The Sunshine State, staying informed about Florida holidays and state leave laws is crucial for effective workforce management. Not only does it ensure that you provide your employees with the necessary time off, but it also helps you maintain a positive and legally compliant work environment.
So, what Florida state holidays do you need to be aware of? And should you pay your employees for FL state holidays?
In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of holidays observed in Florida during 2023. We will also delve into the state’s leave laws, including regulations concerning paid time off. That way, you will have all the information you need to navigate Florida federal holidays in 2023 and in the years to come.
- Florida (FL) state holidays in 2023
- Florida holidays & state leave laws
- Are employers in Florida required to provide paid time off?
- What Florida holidays do state employees get off?
- How much is Florida holiday pay?
- An all-in-one solution for time off, holiday pay, and more
- Track employee time off with Factorial’s PTO tracker
In actual fact, unlike states like Texas and Massachusetts, Florida does not have specific state holidays. Instead, Florida holidays simply refer to the federal holiday schedule that is observed nationwide.
As a result, recognized Florida holidays in 2023 that employers need to be aware of are simply:
- New Year’s Day (observed on Monday, January 2)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 16)
- Memorial Day (Monday, May 29)
- Independence Day (Tuesday, July 4)
- Labor Day (Monday, September 4)
- Veterans Day (observed on Friday, November 10)
- Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 23)
- Friday after Thanksgiving (Friday, November 24)
- Christmas Day (Monday, December 25)
As we just explained, Florida does not have specific state holidays beyond the federal holidays that are observed nationwide. There are, however, certain leave laws in Florida that employers need to take into account when they define their leave policies. Let’s explore these leave laws.
There is no state law in Florida governing sick leave, whether it’s taken as paid or unpaid time off. However, certain employers have a duty to comply with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Essentially, the FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. The Act provides eligible employees with unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child (parental leave), caring for a seriously ill family member, or if an employee is suffering from a serious health condition.
Despite the FMLA only applying to certain employees, many others still choose to offer sick leave as it is a valuable employee benefit. However, if you do decide to offer sick leave, you must adhere to the terms outlined in each employee’s contract of employment.
Domestic violence leave
Employers in Florida with a minimum of 50 employees must also grant leave to their employees in situations where they or a member of their family or household have experienced domestic or sexual violence. Specifically, the law stipulates that eligible employees are entitled to take up to 3 workdays of leave within a 12-month period if they or a close family member has been a victim of such violence. Job protection provisions also apply during this leave.
Specific activities related to domestic violence include:
- Seeking a protective injunction against domestic violence.
- Receiving medical care or mental health counseling.
- Seeking protection from victims’ service organizations.
- If the employee needs to take steps to secure their home from the perpetrator of domestic violence or relocate to a new home.
- Seeking legal counsel to address matters related to domestic violence or attending and preparing for court proceedings related to the incident.
To be eligible for this type of leave, an employee must have worked for the employer for a minimum of 3 months. If the employee has accrued paid time off, you can require them to use that time before taking domestic violence. If the employee does not have sufficient accumulated leave hours to cover the requested time off, you are free to determine whether you will offer paid leave.
Employees in Florida who take military leave are afforded specific job protections and benefits under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). These include the right to reemployment, protection against discrimination based on their military service, and the continuation of certain benefits. Ultimately, USERRA aims to safeguard the employment rights of individuals serving in the military and provides them with essential legal protections upon their return to civilian employment.
Paid Family Leave Insurance
Florida does not have a state-mandated paid family leave program. However, the state does allow private insurance companies to offer voluntary paid family leave coverage. This coverage is not available to all employees. In addition, benefits and eligibility requirements can vary from plan to plan.
In general, an eligible employee can request voluntary paid family leave coverage in Florida for the following reasons:
- Bonding with a new child
- Caring for a seriously ill family member
- Taking time off for a family member’s military deployment
- Taking time off for a qualifying reason, such as a natural disaster or a family member’s legal proceeding
The amount of paid leave can vary from plan to plan. Some plans may offer up to 12 weeks of paid leave, while others may only offer a few days. Moreover, some plans may pay a portion of an employee’s salary during leave, while others may only pay a flat rate.
To be eligible for voluntary paid family leave insurance in Florida, an employee must typically meet the following requirements:
- Work for a company that offers the coverage
- Have worked for the company for a certain period of time (usually at least one year)
- Have earned a certain amount of money (usually at least $50,000 per year)
Jury duty leave
Finally, although you do not have to pay employees for jury duty, you must allow them to take time off for it without penalizing them. This means that you cannot fire or discipline employees for serving on a jury.
If you choose to pay for jury duty leave, you must pay the employee their regular wages, not just minimum wage. Moreover, if an employee is unable to work their regular hours due to jury duty, you can require them to use vacation time, sick leave, or unpaid leave.
Firstly, what is paid time off, exactly?
Paid time off (PTO) is a benefit that employers typically offer as an incentive to attract and retain employees. The amount of PTO that an employer offers can vary. Some offer a set number of paid vacation days per year, while others might offer a combination of vacation days, sick days, and personal days.
So, are employers required to offer paid holidays in Florida?
Generally speaking, unless they are a government organization, the answer is no; private sector employers do not have to provide paid time off for Florida holidays. As a result, private sector employers are free to establish their own policies for federal and state holidays, vacation payout and leave, PTO carryover, and other types of leave like floating holidays, unlimited PTO, flexible time off, and VTO.
The only exception to this is in the case of state employees.
As we just explained, the laws governing Florida holidays are different for state employees.
Essentially, state employers must pay workers for all 9 FL state holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Friday after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day
In contrast to states with a significant Jewish population, such as New York and New Jersey, state employees in Florida are not entitled to paid leave for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, or Good Friday.
In addition, National Florida Day is not recognized as an official holiday for state employees.
Private employers can choose to give their employees paid time off for all the above Florida holidays, but the law doesn’t mandate this.
Florida does not force private employers to offer holiday pay to their employees. If you do choose to offer pay for Florida holidays in 2023, you are free to decide how much you will offer in line with your internal policies and practices. However, it is worth noting that most employers offer an employee’s regular rate of pay for the hours they would have worked on a given holiday. Some employers also offer additional incentives or premium pay rates for working on Florida holidays.
Managing time off and holiday pay can be a complex task for employers. Fortunately, modern HR software solutions like Factorial offer a comprehensive and streamlined approach to handling these processes effectively. With Factorial’s software, employers can easily manage paid time off, ensure accurate holiday pay calculations, and enjoy a range of additional features.
For example, Factorial’s leave management system enables employees to easily request and track all types of time off requests. Employers can establish custom leave policies, define accrual rules, and receive automated notifications for seamless approval processes. This streamlines the leave management process and empowers employees with transparent visibility into their remaining leave balances.
Factorial’s software also simplifies holiday pay calculations. Employers can set specific rules and premium rates for holidays, and the system automatically calculates holiday pay in line with these rates. This eliminates manual errors and saves time for payroll administrators, ensuring accurate and efficient payment processing.
Additionally, Factorial offers valuable features like employee scheduling, leave analytics, and integration with payroll systems. As a result, employers can create optimized employee schedules, analyze leave patterns for better resource planning, and seamlessly integrate leave and holiday pay data with their payroll systems.
Ultimately, with Factorial’s user-friendly interface, automation capabilities, and comprehensive features, employers can streamline their leave processes, enhance compliance, and provide employees with a smooth experience when it comes to time off and holiday pay. That way, you can be sure that your organization is effectively managing all Florida holidays, adhering to state leave laws, and meeting the needs of your employees.