Florida Senate - 2022                                    SB 1306
       By Senator Jones
       35-00363A-22                                          20221306__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to leave for family or household
    3         members of homicide victims; creating s. 448.046,
    4         F.S.; defining terms; requiring employers to authorize
    5         employees to request and take up to a specified number
    6         of days of leave from work under certain
    7         circumstances; providing requirements and purposes for
    8         such leave; providing applicability; requiring
    9         employees taking such leave to provide advance notice
   10         and documentation to employers; requiring employers to
   11         accept certain types of documentation; requiring
   12         employees to exhaust other leave options before taking
   13         specified leave; providing an exception; requiring
   14         private employers to keep information relating to such
   15         leave confidential; prohibiting employers from
   16         engaging in specified actions under certain
   17         circumstances; providing a remedy for violations of
   18         specified provisions; authorizing employees to claim
   19         wages and benefits as damages under certain
   20         circumstances; providing an exception; providing an
   21         effective date.
   23  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   25         Section 1. Section 448.046, Florida Statutes, is created to
   26  read:
   27         448.046 Leave and work accommodations for family or
   28  household members of homicide victims.—
   29         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   30         (a) “Employee” has the same meaning as in s. 440.02(15).
   31         (b) “Employer” has the same meaning as in s. 440.02(16).
   32         (c)“Family or household member” has the same meaning as in
   33  s. 741.28.
   34         (d)“Homicide” means the criminal act committed by a person
   35  who causes the death of another person.
   36         (e)“Homicide victim” means a deceased person killed in a
   37  homicide.
   38         (2)(a) An employer shall authorize an employee to request
   39  and take up to 3 working days of leave from work in any 12-month
   40  period if a family or household member of the employee is a
   41  homicide victim in that period. This leave may be with or
   42  without pay, at the discretion of the employer.
   43         (b) This section applies if an employee uses the leave from
   44  work to:
   45         1.Make funeral or burial arrangements for, or attend a
   46  funeral or memorial service for, the homicide victim;
   47         2.Make the employee’s home secure from the perpetrator of
   48  the homicide or to seek new housing to escape the perpetrator;
   49  or
   50         3.Meet in person with law enforcement personnel or the
   51  state attorney’s office in the jurisdiction responsible for
   52  investigating and prosecuting the homicide.
   53         (3) This section applies to an employer that employs 50 or
   54  more employees and to an employee who has been employed by the
   55  employer for 3 or more months.
   56         (4)(a) Except in cases of imminent danger to the health or
   57  safety of the employee, or to the health or safety of an
   58  employee’s family or household member, an employee seeking leave
   59  from work under this section must provide to his or her employer
   60  appropriate advance notice of the leave as required by the
   61  employer’s policy along with sufficient documentation of the
   62  homicide as required by the employer.
   63         (b) An employee seeking leave under this section must,
   64  before receiving such leave, exhaust all annual or vacation
   65  leave, personal leave, and sick leave, if applicable, that is
   66  available to the employee, unless the employer waives this
   67  requirement.
   68         (c)A private employer must keep all information relating
   69  to the employee’s leave under this section confidential.
   70         (5)(a) An employer may not interfere with, restrain, or
   71  deny the exercise of or any attempt by an employee to exercise
   72  any right provided under this section.
   73         (b) An employer may not discharge, demote, suspend,
   74  retaliate, or in any other manner discriminate against an
   75  employee for exercising his or her rights under this section.
   76         (c) An employee has no greater rights to continued
   77  employment or to other benefits and conditions of employment
   78  than if the employee was not entitled to leave under this
   79  section. This section does not limit the employer’s right to
   80  discipline or terminate any employee for any reason, including,
   81  but not limited to, reductions in work force or termination for
   82  cause or for no reason at all, other than exercising his or her
   83  rights under this section.
   84         (6) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the sole
   85  remedy for any person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of
   86  this section is to bring a civil suit for damages or equitable
   87  relief, or both, in circuit court. The person may claim as
   88  damages all wages and benefits that would have been due the
   89  person up to and including the date of the judgment had the act
   90  violating this section not occurred, but the person may not
   91  claim wages or benefits for a period of leave granted without
   92  pay as provided in paragraph (2)(a). However, this section does
   93  not relieve the person from the obligation to mitigate his or
   94  her damages.
   95         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.