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Rights of Public Sector Employees in Florida
Recently, there have been some stories in the news about how certain states are introducing or passing legislation that limits or changes the rights of their public sector employees. Before these efforts start to directly affect them, public employees in Florida may be interested to know just what they are entitled to as employees of the state.
It can be difficult to determine exactly what your new or existing job means for your legal rights. The employment lawyers at the Coye Law Firm want to help. If you feel that your employer has not acted in your best interest or according to your employment terms, call the Coye Law Firm for an evaluation of your employment claim.
Who is a Public Sector Employee in Florida?
When you consider all of the people working in the state of Florida, it may be difficult to think about how many of them work for the government or state in some way. You may first think of public school employees, police officers, and government employees as working for the state. However, public employees also include:
- state university employees
- certain transportation employees, such as bus drivers
Benefits & Rights of Public Sector Employees in Florida
Florida's public employees have some of their rights protected under Florida statute §447.301. In the statute, the employee has the right to:
- associate with or join any employment organization they choose
- be represented by that organization in collective bargaining or negotiations
- discuss their concerns with an attorney or legal counsel and present a complaint to their employer
The Department of Juvenile Justice, a state agency in Florida, hosts the Florida State Employee Handbook on their website, which can be accessed here. It outlines general procedures that public employees must abide by, including sick leave and workers compensation. It also outlines benefits for public employees in Florida, which may include:
- health insurance
- life insurance
- child care
- unemployment compensation
- pension plans
- investment plans
To fully understand your rights as a public employee in the state of Florida, talk to your supervisor. They can provide you with a printed and up to date copy of the employee handbook. For more information, you can also visit the Florida Department of Management Services website.
Public Employees in the News
In spring 2011, Florida's public sector employees got national attention as they were brought into the debate over revocation of some rights. Other states, including Wisconsin and Ohio, proposed reforming their pension compensation systems in order to help ease the strain on their budgets. Florida Governor Rick Scott proposed that Florida make up for it's budget short falls by requiring public employees to contribute 3 to 5 percent of their salaries towards their pensions.
While the bill is debated and revised in the legislature, public employees are beginning to consider what rights they currently have and how their rights may be in jeopardy in the future. If you feel that your rights should not be changed, contact your local legislator or union to see what you can do to prevent or change any newly introduced bills.
It can be difficult to determine your rights and entitlements when your employment status is different from those around you. Learn about your rights, and if they have been violated, call the public employee lawyers at the Coye Law Firm. Our office can evaluate your claim if you call us today at 800-648-4941. Sometimes, you need justice. Sometimes, you need a lawyer.