DeSantis Signs Bill Barring Local Worker Heat Protection Measures

April 12, 2024

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week signed into law a prohibition on local governments requiring worker protections from heat exposure, a law that could potentially lead to more workers’ compensation claims from stricken laborers.

At the same time, the state Department of Financial Services announced the arrest of a Miami labor supplier on charges of underreporting payroll to his workers’ comp insurance company. Jordan A. Novo, owner of Titan Industry USA Corp., concealed his true payroll to avoid more than $109,000 in premiums, Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis said in a statement Thursday.

Novo was arrested April 9 and booked into jail in Miami-Dade County. An investigation by DFS found that Novo and Titan had significant growth in payroll, but did not report that to the carrier, Technology Insurance Co. Novo allegedly was paid almost $2 million by contractors for labor services but told Technology it was less than that, authorities indicated.

DeSantis did not comment on his signing of the worker protection bill, House Bill 433. The Orlando Sentinel and other Florida news outlets reported that the bill was hotly debated in the Legislature this year. It was endorsed by business groups but strongly opposed by worker advocacy groups.

The issue arose after the Miami-Dade County Commission considered an ordinance that would have required construction and agricultural firms to ensure access to water and 10-minute shade breaks every two hours when the heat index breaks 95 degrees.

DeSantis also signed Senate Bill 718, which makes it a felony to expose law officers and first responders to fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid that has caused unintended overdoses worldwide.

Topics Florida

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