Florida blocks cities, counties from voting on sick pay laws

Photo provided by Governor Rick Scott's Office
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 8:00am

A new Florida law prevents cities and counties from requiring businesses to pay employees for sick days.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law Friday, saying it "fosters statewide uniformity, consistency and predictability in Florida's employer-employee relationships."

He added the law was business friendly and supports job creation.

The move puts the state in charge of laws concerning employee benefits. It comes as Orange County was considering letting voters decide on a measure that would require most companies pay workers who are ill or caring for a sick relative.

CNN affiliate WESH said Scott, a Republican, sided with Walt Disney World and the restaurant chain that operates LongHorn Steakhouses, Olive Garden and Red Lobster.

The bill's sponsor in the Florida Senate, David Simmons, told WESH that the law signals that cities and counties cannot "create their own patchwork of regulations" in regards to employee benefits.

Orlando-based Organize Now had petitioned Scott to veto the bill.

"The fight for earned sick time will continue," it said on its Facebook page. "Floridians believe in earned sick time for hardworking families and we don't give up when we believe in something. ... and we won't forget."

The law takes effect July 1.

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