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Blog banner for Florida PTO Laws: A Complete Guide to Florida Paid Time Off Law

Florida PTO Laws: A Complete Guide to Florida Paid Time Off Laws

Florida is one of the U.S. states that doesn’t have any state laws for paid time off (PTO). As the onus is on the employers to create policies for most types of PTO, understanding existing Florida PTO laws is vital to ensure employees get their rights and responsibilities regarding time off.

To help employers better understand the Florida paid time off laws, we created this guide on various types of leave, from required holidays for public employers to non-required vacation leave for private sector employees. Understanding and complying with Florida’s PTO laws are essential to maintaining a fair and productive work environment.

Let’s get started.

Florida PTO laws cover the required leaves in the state, but there are other types. We will cover all types of leaves and laws regarding them.

(A) Florida Required Leave

1. Holidays leave (Public Employers)

Public employers in Florida are mandated to provide paid holidays to their employees on state-declared holidays. Government authorities typically establish these holidays, including New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other recognized public holidays.

Not many states allow paid holiday leaves, but employers must give employees paid time off on designated holidays in Florida. You can check the Florida public holiday calendar 2024 at the end.

2. Parental and family medical leave

Florida laws provide state employees the right to get up to six months of unpaid leave, but only after written proof of ailment from a physician. A public employee can utilize parental and family medical leave to attend to their family members’ medical and health needs, including parents, spouse, live-in partner, kids, and close family members.

Parental leave gives employees the right to take time off to care for a newborn infant. Such a leave can be taken by either the father or the mother. No employer can terminate an employee for taking leave due to pregnancy or family medical requirements.

3. Jury service leave

Florida PTO law mandates that employers provide their employees with time off for jury service without loss of pay. As every U.S. citizen must serve on a jury when summoned, Florida labor laws ensure no employer restrains employees from jury duty.

Full-time public sector employees are not eligible for compensation for the first three days. After that, they will be compensated at a rate of $30 per day. Non-regular or part-time employees summoned for jury duty should receive $15 per day for the first three days of their service.

From the fourth day, they should be paid $30 per day. Employers cannot penalize or discriminate against employees for serving on a jury.

4. Military service leave

Florida follows federal regulations, particularly the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) for medical service leave.

Under this law, employees are given employment protection and leave rights for serving in the military or National Guard. However, paid absence for military service leave cannot be extended to 240 hours per year in Florida.  

5. Emergency response leave

State agency workers in Florida can volunteer as emergency responders during natural disasters or other emergencies. Employers must grant paid leave to employees who serve as volunteer emergency responders for a maximum of 120 hours in a 12-month period.

This allows employees to contribute to their communities in times of crisis without risking their job security.

(B) Florida Non-required Leave

1. Vacation leave

Florida PTO laws do not mandate paid vacation leave for employees in the private sector. Individual employers typically determine the availability of paid or unpaid vacation leave. They also set the policies that govern vacation leave.

The same should be provided in employment contracts so employees know their rights. Employers can establish their policies regarding vacation accrual, usage, and eligibility criteria.

2. Sick leave

Florida follows the federal quota for sick leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of sick leave provided the employee has worked up to 1 year or 1,250 hours in the previous year. And the employee should be working at a location where the employer has 50+ employees.

Like vacation leave, Florida law does not require private employers to provide paid sick leave. The provision of sick leave, its accrual rates, and the terms for its use are typically at the employer’s discretion.

3. Holidays leave (Private Employers)

Unlike public employers, private employers in Florida can decide whether to offer paid holidays to their employees. Employers can decide what holiday leaves are observed and whether they are paid or unpaid. Establishing holiday pay policies in the private sector is generally left to the employer’s discretion.

4. Voting leave

Florida law grants private employees the right to take time off to vote in statewide elections like state employees. However, this time off is typically unpaid unless the employer offers to pay for voting leave. Employees who do not have three consecutive hours available outside of working hours in Florida are eligible for this unpaid voting leave.

5. Grief and bereavement leave

Florida has no law mandating employers to provide grief or bereavement leave to employees. The availability of such leave and its terms are usually determined by an employer’s policies and employment contracts. Many employers in Canada offer a limited amount of paid or unpaid bereavement leave as a compassionate gesture. 

(C) Other types of leaves

1. Maternity/paternity leave

As per law, Florida allows employees 12 weeks of unpaid maternity/paternity leave. Many employers offer maternity leave as part of their employee benefits package, and the terms and duration of such leave can vary significantly.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child and for the employee’s serious health condition. However, not all employers are required to comply with FMLA; only those with 50 or more employees are required to comply.

Florida has no specific paternity leave law that requires employers to provide paid or unpaid leave for new fathers. Employers may require employees to use accrued time to offer paternity leave.

Additionally, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) forbids employers to discriminate based on pregnancy in any way. Pregnant employees cannot be fired, hired, or unfairly treated due to their pregnancy. However, PDA applies to employers with more than 15 employees.

Overtime Regulations in Florida

There are no separate overtime regulations in Florida, and employers must follow the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules. Employees working more than 40 hours a week should be paid one and a half times the regular wage rate for extra hours worked. Employers cannot set rules and standards regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, and other wage-related matters.

Under the FLSA, certain employees are “exempt” and are not eligible for overtime pay. This usually includes administrators, executives, and some sales professionals.

The non-exempt employees in Florida are entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times their regular hourly rate for each hour worked beyond 40 in a workweek. For example, if an employee’s regular hourly wage is $10 per hour, they would receive $15 per hour for each overtime hour worked.

Employers should refer to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updates on the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees.

What is the accrual vacation system of employers in Florida PTO law?

Accrual is not obligatory under the Florida PTO payout laws. Employers are free to determine the accrual of vacation time for employees. Without a mandated accrual system under Florida state law, the offerings can vary significantly between employers.

Employers can decide how employees earn vacation days. It may be based on their length of service with the company or the number of hours worked. For instance, an employee might accrue a certain number of hours of vacation leave for every 40 hours worked.

Additionally, employers can limit the number of vacation days an employee can accrue. Once employees reach this limit, they stop accruing additional vacation days until they use some of their accrued time.

What happens to roll over (carry over, brought forward) leaves?

Florida legally allows use-it-or-lose-it policies. Employers have the freedom to decide whether to allow roll over or not. They can implement policies that require employees to use their accrued vacation time within a specified timeframe, often by the end of the calendar year.

Unused vacation days may not carry over into the following year, meaning employees lose them if they do not use them within the designated period.

How does quitting vs. being terminated affect the right to be paid out for unused time?

As there are no Florida PTO payout laws, how the payout is handled based on how the employee is terminated depends entirely on company policies.

Employers should provide employees with clear guidelines on how the payout will be handled if they resign or are terminated. The same information must be provided in employment contracts and employee handbooks. 

Are There Federal Laws About Vacation Leave?

No federal laws in the United States specifically require employers to provide paid vacation leave to their employees. Unless an employee has formally offered vacation time to the employees, they are not obligated to provide any paid or unpaid vacation time.

The law states that federal law must be observed without any state on employment practices (FLSA in this case). However, FLSA has no provision for paid vacation leave that employers must provide to their workers.

Paid time off employer requirements

In Florida, there are no such paid time off employer requirements. However, employers should follow federal laws wherever applicable. For instance, there is no legal obligation to offer paid time off, but most employers in Florida offer PTO in good faith.

Additionally, the length of paid time off depends on the company’s policies unless it falls under FMLA eligibility, which offers up to 12 weeks paid for eligible employees.

Are use it or lose it policies legal in Florida?

As of 2024, “use it or lose it” policies, which require employees to use their accrued paid time off (PTO) by a specific deadline or forfeit it, are legal in Florida. Employers have full discretion to decide policies regarding “use it or lose it” rules for their employees.

Florida State Holidays in 2024

Holidays falling on Sunday will be observed on Monday, while holiday leaves that fall on Saturday are observed on Friday.

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 2024 Monday, January 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monday, January 15
Memorial Day Monday, May 27
Independence Day Thursday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 2
Veterans’ Day Monday, November 11
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28
Thanksgiving Friday Friday, November 29
Christmas Day Wednesday, Dec. 25

How can Truein help with Paid time-off management?

Truein can be your comprehensive paid time-off (PTO) management platform. A complete time and attendance management solution is designed to simplify and streamline managing employees’ time, including paid time off, vacation, sick leave, and other types of paid and unpaid leave.

A cloud-based solution, Truein automates leave request workflow through a user-friendly interface. Managers and supervisors can receive and approve time-off requests instantly, reducing the need for manual paperwork and emails.

Employees can monitor their leave balances in real-time, ensuring accuracy and transparency for employees and H.R. administrators. It has 70+ customizable policies that you can reform to align with your organization’s specific leave policies and rules.

There’s much more – integration with the payroll system, custom reports and analytics, scheduling, and mobile accessibility. Learn more about its features here.

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Understanding Florida’s paid time off laws allows employers to create policies that comply with federal regulations. We hope this guide on Florida PTO laws will help employers and employees stay informed about their rights and responsibilities regarding time off from work.

Open communication between both parties and adherence to established policies are vital to maintaining a sustainable work environment.


1. Can a Florida employer withhold part of a final PTO paycheck?

Florida employers can withhold part of a final PTO paycheck if it is consented to by the employee or if there are necessary deductions such as taxes. However, in most cases, employers cannot withhold part of the payout such that the pay rate falls below the minimum wage rate.

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