June 2022: Florida Governor Signs Bill to Protect Businesses from Misclassification Claims

08 Jun


Update Applicable to:
All businesses with independent contractor relationships in the state of Florida

What happened?
On May 10, 2022, Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 542 (SB 542) into law, which will clarify that any actions taken by businesses to provide emergency relief for gig economy workers will not destroy the independent contractor relationship, and they will remain shielded from misclassification claims.

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What are the details?
Beginning on July 1, 2022, businesses can take the following four actions during declared emergencies without having to worry about a misclassification claim:

  1. Provide financial assistance to previously “engaged individuals” who are unable to work because of health and safety concerns;
  2. Directly provide benefits that are related to the health and safety of engaged individuals, including medical or cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, health checks, or medical testing;
  3. Provide training or information related to the health and safety of engaged individuals or the public; or
  4. Take any action, including action required or suggested by any federal, state, or local law, ordinance, order, or directive which is intended to protect public health and safety.

Under the law, an “engaged individual” is anyone “who provides a good or service to a business or on behalf of a business and who is remunerated for the good or service, regardless of the individual’s classification as an employee or independent contractor.”

Notably, the law will only assist employers in responding to the misclassification claims brought pursuant to Florida law. 

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For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 542 (SB 542)


What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and try their best to avoid misclassifying their employees in the best way possible.

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