DeSantis Signs Bill Limiting Heat Protections for Outdoor Workers

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed a bill Thursday that prevents local governments from enforcing heat protection measures for outdoor workers.

Instead of holding a press conference, DeSantis chose to sign the controversial bill without much fanfare, announcing it alongside nine other bills in a Thursday night press release.

The bill, which was passed by the Florida Senate in March 2024, prohibits local governments from mandating companies to implement heat protection measures beyond what is required by existing laws.

Last year, Miami-Dade County considered an ordinance that would have compelled employers to provide water and shaded breaks on excessively hot days, but the decision was postponed until this spring.

This ordinance was the result of efforts by local workers’ rights groups who have been campaigning for years in response to heat-related illnesses and deaths in industries like construction and agriculture.

 DeSantis Signs Bill Limiting Heat Protections for Outdoor Workers

Currently, there are no federal or state laws specifically addressing protection from heat exposure for outdoor workers.

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The bill’s sponsor, Senator Jay Trumbell, stated that the aim of the legislation is to allow employers to manage their own policies and ensure the best working conditions for their employees.

However, the bill faced opposition from citizens, who argued that local governments should have the authority to establish their own standards based on the climate of their region.

The new law comes at a time when 2023 was recorded as the hottest year in history, particularly affecting the southern parts of the United States with prolonged periods of intense humidity and temperatures soaring into the triple digits.

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