State law in Florida prohibits sex discrimination in compensation for jobs that require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions. Differentiations in pay are permissible if made pursuant to:
- A seniority system;
- A merit system;
- A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
- Any reasonable factor other than sex.
The law covers any employer with two or more employees if the employer is not subject to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). An employee may file a civil lawsuit against the employer to recover the difference between the amount the employee was paid and the amount that should have been paid. The amount is limited to the 1-year period prior to filing the claim (FL Stat. Sec. 448.07).
A separate state law that prohibits unenforceable contracts requires equal pay for equal services performed regardless of sex, marital status, or race. Any person alleging a violation of this law may file a civil lawsuit to recover damages, which can include compensatory damages, punitive damages, and reasonable attorney’s fees (FL Stat. Sec. 725.07).
The Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status. The Act covers public and private employers with 15 or more employees, including employment agencies and labor unions (FL Stat. Sec. 760.01 et seq.).