A controversial law signed by DeSantis is already in force and affects a large sector of workers

A controversial law signed by DeSantis is already in force and affects a large sector of workers
A controversial law signed by DeSantis is already in force and affects a large sector of workers

Florida implemented a law that has generated great controversy prohibit employers from being required to provide breaks to workers exposed to the sun and high temperatures. Amid record-breaking summer heat, this law, signed in April by Governor Ron DeSantis, affects millions of workers, many of them Hispanic, who work in the fields and construction outdoors.

The measure prevents state or local governments from suing employers. Provide basic protections such as shade, accessible water and breaksraising concerns among labor rights and public health advocates.

Find out what this measure is all about, which will have a direct impact on a specific sector.

Martin Mena


Impact of the law on local governments and job security

In addition to limiting breaks for workers, Florida’s new law prohibits local governments from favor contractors that offer greater protection to its employees when awarding bids and contracts. This measure has slowed the efforts of Miami-Dade County, which houses some 300,000 outdoor workersto establish safety standards against exposure to heat.

Florida, known for being one of the hottest states in the United States, experienced record temperatures in May, especially in Tampa Bay, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Outdoor workers exposed by this new law.

This extreme heat disproportionately affects Latino workerswho are three times more likely to die due to heat-related working conditions, according to the Americas Alliance.

Oscar Londoño, co-director of the Florida-based organization WeCount!, noted that June was one of the hottest months in the state’s history, with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Londoño warned that the new law puts worker safety at risk and increases the risk of preventable illness and death.

In the United States, it is estimated that Extreme heat causes around 120,000 workplace injuries a yearWithout preventive measures, this figure could rise to 450,000 per year by 2050, various groups warn.

Leonardo Schwarz


Keys to this latest Florida law affecting outdoor workers

The implementation of this controversial law has generated a wave of reactions from various sectors, seeking to mitigate its effects and promote workplace safety. Labor rights organizations, local officials and activists have expressed their concern and proposed alternatives to protect workers exposed to extreme heat.

  • Labor Rights OrganizationsGroups like WeCount! and Alianza Americas are advocating for stricter federal regulations that would require employers to provide safe working conditions, regardless of state laws.
  • Local officials:Local leaders in Miami-Dade and other affected areas are exploring ways to offer additional resources to workers, such as drinking water stations and mobile shade areas.
  • Activists and communities: Awareness campaigns are underway to educate workers about the risks of extreme heat and self-protective measures they can take, such as wearing appropriate clothing and identifying symptoms of heat stroke.
  • Legislative proposals: Some lawmakers are working on new proposals that seek to counteract the effects of DeSantis’ law and also promote policies that protect the health and safety of outdoor workers.
 
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