Florida Senate Approves Ban on Local Heat Protections, Labor Rights Under Fire

CCG – On Tuesday, the Florida State Senate approved a bill that would make it illegal for municipal organizations to provide workers with heat protection.

The bill, which would forbid counties and localities from enacting mandatory water breaks and other drastic heat-relief measures beyond what is necessary by state or federal law, was approved by the GOP-controlled Senate on a vote of 28 to 11.

Sen. Jay Trumbull (R) presented the legislation, Senate Bill 1492. Political subdivisions are not allowed to “establish, mandate, or otherwise require an employer” to supply products and services that “meet or provide heat exposure requirements” if they are not already required to do so, according to the legislation.

Florida Senate Approves Ban on Local Heat Protections, Labor Rights Under Fire (1)
NBC News was the first to report on the bill’s supporters’ claims that it will provide standard regulations rather than a patchwork of restrictions across the state.

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Retaliating, labor unions claim that wearing heat-resistant clothing is essential for everyone’s safety, especially those in the construction and agricultural industries.

The plan would take effect on July 1, 2024, but before it can be signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis (R), it must first pass the House.

The announcement was made shortly after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared 2023 to be the hottest year on record. It was also established that this summer was the hottest on record.

According to NBC News, firms in Florida would have to go by broad guidelines established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has not yet released guidelines for excessively high temperatures.

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