If your organization uses day laborers and arranges for their transportation, make sure it charges them a “reasonable” fee.
The current version of the Florida Labor Pool Act (FLPA) limits the one-way transportation charge to no more than $1.50, but you’re not allowed to simply charge that seemingly small amount. You also must be prepared to prove the charge is reasonable.
The penalty can add up: The FLPA includes a $1,000-per-violation penalty. That can add up fast if you transport more than a few day laborers.
How to comply: Calculate the charge by investigating public transportation options from the hiring site to the work site. Check bus prices to the closest stop. Add up bus and taxi costs. If it is more than $1.50 each way, assess the $1.50. If it is less, charge only the lesser, actual cost.
Recent case: Larry Liner was a day laborer who regularly worked for Workers Temporary Staffing. The company charged him $1.50 each way to get to and from the hiring hall to the work site.
Liner figured out that he could take a bus for just a dollar. He sued, alleging that he was owed not just the difference between the cost, but also the $1,000-per-incident penalty. That would bring the total due to Liner to over $177,000 for the 177 trips he took on company transportation.
The case worked its way to the Florida Supreme Court, which refused to assess the penalty. It learned that day laborers couldn’t get all the way to the work site gate if they took just the bus. They had to take a taxi the rest of the way at an additional cost of $1.50. The court concluded that the $1.50 charge, therefore, was reasonable. (Liner v. Workers Temporary Staffing, No. SC07-1470, Supreme Court of Florida, 2008)
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