What Charlie Crist's Campaign for "Fairness" Could Mean for Your Small Business

Date: September 17, 2014

What Charlie Crist’s Campaign for “Fairness” Could Mean for Your Small Business

By now I’m sure you are sick of all of the negative TV ads running morning, noon, and night.  It’s almost enough to make you turn off that favorite TV show or at least fast forward through the commercials.  But this November, small business owners have an important decision to make regarding the Governor of Florida, and we at NFIB/Florida feel it’s important to cut through the rhetoric and break down the Charlie Crist “Fair Shot Florida” campaign plan. Here are a few policies that Crist will pursue if he should reclaim his former office.

Charlie Crist proudly proclaimed that on his first day in office he will issue an executive order requiring that all companies that contract with the state pay their employees at least $10.10 an hour, and he will urge the Florida House and Senate to raise minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all employees.  Crist goes on to describe how his 27 percent wage increase will have “negligible” effects on job growth.   Where does Crist expect that 27 percent labor cost increase to come from?  You guessed it – right out of your pocket. 

Another item on Crist’s “First Day of Fairness” would be an executive order requiring all companies that contract with the state to certify that they will not take retaliatory action against employees who share their salary information with other employees.  This executive order would also require these companies to report their wage data to a state agency along with gender and race information so that the state could ensure fairness in your company.  It stands to reason that if elected, Crist would pursue legislation to expand this reporting requirement to all companies in Florida.  You should also know that there is no public records exemption in current law shielding this wage data from the public.  Nothing would stop employees from accessing this data and using it to renegotiate their salaries with you, as the business owner.

Crist would also be responsible for appointing four justices to the Florida Supreme Court.  Why is that important to your small business?  Just last month we told you about a workers’ compensation circuit court ruling that turned the Workers’ Compensation system on its head and left business owners with very little protections.  Crist could be in a position to ensure that this ruling becomes state law, putting small business owners on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in damages for each accident. 

These are just a few of the policy proposals that Crist has announced so far; unfortunately his impact on Florida’s small business owners won’t end there.

Meanwhile, Governor Rick Scott has worked tirelessly over the past four years to make Florida a better place to own, operate and grow your small business. From removing regulatory red tape to enacting policies that have created hundreds of thousands of jobs, Governor Scott knows what small business needs to be successful.

We want to help you become an informed Small Business Voter. For more on who small business endorses, and additional information on making an informed vote this November, visit www.NFIB.com/smallbizvoter.

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