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Florida governor signs law banning local governments from protecting workers from heat

2024-04-16T16:42:33+00:00
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Ron DeSantis signs HB-433 in Florida (PHOTO: Shutterstock)
  • Ron DeSantis signs HB-433 into law.
  • It bans heat protection for workers.
  • It could affect employees throughout Florida.

Once again, the Governor of Florida finds himself being criticized after signing a controversial bill.

Ron DeSantis signed HB-433 on Thursday night, a controversial initiative that bans Florida cities and counties from creating protections for workers exposed to extreme temperatures.

Effective July 1, HB-433 will impact millions of outdoor workers in Florida who are often exposed to extreme heat and humidity.

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Ron DeSantis signs HB-433

HB-433 prevents state and local governments from requiring employers to provide basic protections to outdoor workers — such as shade, accessible water and breaks from the heat and humidity.

It also prevents local governments from favoring contractors who offer more worker protections when awarding bids and contracts.

This eliminates efforts to establish heat exposure protections.

Activists in the Miami-Dade area, where approximately 300,000 outdoor workers reside, had been anticipating an ordinance to be passed this summer, but this law ends those hopes.

Millions of Florida workers will be affected

DeSantis signs HB 433, ron desantis, florida, law, heat protection
PHOTO: Shutterstock

The signing of this law has generated criticism and concerns among worker advocates.

They argue that this measure endangers the health and safety of workers who perform outdoor labor in a state known for its high temperatures and humidity.

Governor DeSantis, on the other hand, has defended HB-433, arguing that it promotes a business-friendly environment. and the state’s economy

He added that it helps the state’s economy by reducing regulations that he considers unnecessary and obstacles to business growth.

Business-owners were concerned about worker protections

CS/HB 433 – Prohibits local city/county governments from enacting employment standards that are more strict than state standards, including ‘heat regulations’ and minimum wage: https://t.co/0lIuNDxqTl pic.twitter.com/U1fProE7Q5

— Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) April 12, 2024

In a press conference on Friday, DeSantis said he signed the law because there was “a lot of concern” about the protections being discussed in Miami-Dade.

“I think they were pursuing something that was going to cause a lot of problems down there,” added the Florida Governor, according to EFE.

State Senator Victor Torres of Orange County condemned the measure as a “step backward” in protecting workers, as stated in comments to Florida Phoenix.

The Democratic lawmaker warned that the law “ties the hands” of local governments to be proactive in caring for outdoor workers.

Extreme heat in Florida

DeSantis signs HB 433, ron desantis, florida, law, heat protection
PHOTO: Shutterstock

In this context, a review has been made of people who work in construction, road repair and produce picking, among other grueling tasks.

Last week, a total of 88 environmental, religious and progressive groups had asked the Republican governor to veto the legislation.

“Extreme heat is already one of the leading causes of climate-related death and work-related injuries nationwide,” the activists stated in a letter highlighting that heat-related deaths increased by 88% in Florida between 2019 and 2022.

“In the United States, extreme heat is estimated to be the cause of about 120,000 workplace injuries each year, and without action that number could rise to about 450,000 per year by 2050,” the group warned.

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