This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Florida.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Florida.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
No federal or state laws in the USA require employers to provide paid or unpaid vacation time, Florida included. Employers in Florida are free to craft their own policies regarding vacation time and annual leave.
There is no mention of Use It or Lose It vacation policies or anything similar in Florida state law. Employers are free to institute a Use It or Lose It policy if they wish.
Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.
Florida has no laws requiring employers to pay out unused vacation time, sick leave or any other kind of paid time off when an employee leaves their job.
Employers are only required to follow what is stated in employment contracts and company policy. If these policies make no mention of paying out unused PTO, it is not required.
There are no requirements in Florida to provide paid or unpaid sick leave for employees.
Besides any state laws or terms written into employment contracts, employers in Florida must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
Florida’s state holidays are as follows:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|Day after Thanksgiving||Friday after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday)|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.
Florida does not have any laws regarding paid or unpaid maternity leave. However, the FMLA applies here, allowing new mothers up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, or to care for a newly adopted or fostered child.
State employees in Florida can take up to six months of unpaid maternity leave, with a written statement from a physician.
Florida law also does not cover paternity leave, but this too is covered under the FMLA, allowing fathers the same rights as mothers to care for a newborn child, or newly adopted or fostered child.
There is no law in Florida covering bereavement leave, paid or unpaid.
Florida requires employees be allowed unpaid time off to serve jury duty, but this is not required to be paid.
Employers must not discharge or penalize an employee in any way for serving jury duty.
There is no law in Florida requiring employers to grant paid or unpaid leave to allow employees to vote.
Florida has a law covering domestic violence leave. Employees in companies of 50 or more staff are allowed up to three days’ leave in a 12-month period if they have been victims, or have family members who have been victims of sexual assault or domestic violence. This leave is not required to be paid.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Florida, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Anything not covered in Florida state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.