Right To Work / Regulation of Unions
Article I. Section 6 Florida Constitution - Right to Work
The right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or non-membership in any labor union or labor organization. The right of employees, by and through a labor organization, to bargain collectively shall not be denied or abridged. Public employees shall not have the right to strike.
447.17 Florida Statutes - Civil Remedy; Injunctive Relief
Any person who is denied employment or discriminated against in his or her employment on account of membership or non membership in any labor union or labor organization shall be entitled to recover from the discriminating employer, other person, firm, corporation, labor union, labor organization, or association, acting separately or in concert, in the courts of this state, such damages as he or she may have sustained and the costs of suit, including reasonable attorney's fees.
447.03 Florida Statutes - Employees’ Right to Self-Organization
Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor unions or labor organizations or to refrain from such activity, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in concerted activities, for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
447.13 Florida Statutes - Right to Strike Preserved
Except as specifically provided in this chapter, nothing therein shall be construed so as to interfere with or impede or diminish in any way the right to strike or the right of individuals to work; nor shall anything in this chapter be so construed as to invade unlawfully the right to freedom of speech.
The Florida Child Labor Law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act provide the rules and regulations that govern the employment of minors in Florida. They also govern the working relationship between minors and their employers. The Child Labor Law is administered and enforced by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in cooperation with law enforcement officers, public school officials, and other agencies that may assist the division through intergovernmental agreements.
The Child Labor Program's primary goals are to protect the health and education of working youth of the state by ensuring enforcement of restrictions established to protect them from harmful work situations; and, to educate employers, public school employees, the general public, and working youth about the Child Labor Law.
For more information and to access publications on Child Labor Laws, please call (850) 488-3131 or write:
Child Labor Program
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1044
Similar regulations affect all talent and modeling agencies operating within Florida. All talent and modeling agencies in the State of Florida must be licensed through the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.
You are considered to be a "talent agent" according to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation's (DBPR) definition if you, for compensation; engage in the occupation of procuring or attempting to procure engagements for an artist. This means you must have a talent agency business license to operate. By law, this definition applies regardless of your title (manager, casting director, casting agent, promoter, etc). If you think you may need a license, visit myfloridalicense.com. Operating as a "talent agency" without a license is a 3rd degree felony in Florida.
Hiring a "talent agency" without a license is also against the law and serves as grounds for the DBPR to take action against you. Violation of the law will be punished by either: denying an application for licensure as a talent agency, permanently revoking or suspending a license, imposing an administrative fine of up to $5,000 or requiring restitution. To check on the license status of a talent agency, visit the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website. Click on "Verify a License" to search the database.
Be on the lookout! Talent agencies are required by law to display their fee schedule and talent agency license in a clearly visible location in their place of business.
Talent agencies are required by law to give each artist a copy of their contract listing the services to be provided and the fees to be charged. This should also list the contact information of the DBPR.
By law, talent agencies are NOT allowed to charge a registration fee! No talent agency shall, as a condition to obtaining employment for any artist, require the artist to subscribe to, purchase, or attend any publication, postcard service, advertisement, resume service, photography service, school, acting school, workshop, acting workshop, or video or audiotapes. By law, all advertisements, letterheads, receipts and other publications should list the talent agency name and address, license number and the words "talent agency".
If you are aware of any wrong doing as described above, contact your local DBPR Bureau of Investigation. You will be granted anonymity on request. You may also file a complaint online.
Click here to read more about how to avoid modeling scams.
Who needs Workers' Compensation coverage?
If you are in an industry, other than construction, and have four (4) or more employees, full-time or part-time, you are required to carry workers' compensation coverage (an exempted corporate officer does not count as an employee).
If you are in the construction industry, and have one (1) or more employees (including yourself), you are required to carry workers' compensation coverage (an exempted corporate officer or member of a limited liability company does not count as an employee).
If you are a state or local government, you are required to carry workers' compensation coverage.
If you are a farmer, and have more than five (5) regular employees and/or twelve (12) or more other workers for seasonal agricultural labor lasting thirty (30) days or more, you are required to carry workers' compensation coverage.
Reference: Section 440.02, Florida Statutes.
How does an employer obtain workers' compensation insurance?
By purchasing a policy from an insurance agent that represents approved insurance companies.
By qualifying as an individual self-insured; for additional information, contact the Division of Workers' Compensation at (850)413-1798.
Or, an employer may contract with a professional employer organization (employee leasing) that has secured workers' compensation coverage.
Reference: Section 440.02, Florida Statutes.
Only corporate officers or members of a limited liability company (LLC) engaged in the construction industry are eligible for an exemption. Non-construction LLC members are NOT ELIGIBLE for an exemption. Click for workers’ compensation exemption application (form DWC-250) and instructions.
For general questions or technical assistance, please contact the Worker's Compensation Customer Service Center:
Florida Department of Financial Services
Division of Worker's Compensation
Customer Service Center
200 East Gaines Street.
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-4227
850.413.1601 or 800.742.2214
According to the US Dept. of Labor, paying in cash often is done to avoid paying the minimum wage, overtime, social security, medicare and/or payroll taxes, which is illegal. The Wage and Hour Division of the U. S. Dept. of Labor handles these types of issues. There are several USDOL offices in Florida - Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami and Tampa. The general number that can be called to discuss the issues and determine the proper place for referral is toll free 866-487-9243. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, the one state law that applies is unemployment compensation which can be found in Chapter 443 Florida Statutes.
Non Payment of Wages
The USDOL Wage and Hour Division determines jurisdiction and law violations for non-payment of wages. Independent contractors should seek the advice of a private attorney for claims. For employees, contact the USDOL for the appropriate Wage & Hour Division district office in Florida for claims assistance.
For more information on employer-employee relationships, refer to Chapter 2 of IRS Publication 15A Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide.
If you would like the IRS to issue a determination ruling, you may submit Form SS-8, Determination of Employee Work Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding.
Please contact these organizations directly, seek private counsel, legal aid, or your state attorney for legal direction and information.
If you are a nonresident alien entertainer or athlete performing or participating in athletic events in the United States, you may be able to enter into a withholding agreement with the IRS for reduced withholding provided certain requirements are met. Under no circumstances will such a withholding agreement reduce taxes withheld to less than the anticipated amount of income tax liability.