Florida Temporarily Blocked From Enforcing Individual Freedom Act, but Employers Should Proceed With Caution

Cooley Alert

On August 18, 2022, the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida temporarily blocked enforcement of the Individual Freedom Act (IFA), also known as the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (WOKE) Act, against employers by the Florida Commission on Human Relations and the Florida attorney general. We reported on the IFA’s broad scope in a previous client alert.

In the matter of Inc. v. Ron DeSantis, et al., No. 4:22-cv-00227 (N.D. Fla. Aug. 18, 2022), the court ruled that the IFA violates the First Amendment because it is not sufficiently narrowly tailored and is “impermissibly vague” as to violate the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. The court also denied a stay of the injunction pending a likely appeal by the state, so the injunction remains in place for the foreseeable future. However, employers should be aware that the injunction does not prohibit individuals, such as purportedly aggrieved employees, from bringing a private cause of action.

Cooley will continue to follow updates to the IFA. If you have any questions about the IFA, please reach out to a member of the Cooley employment team.

Related Contacts
Frederick Baron  Senior Counsel Palo Alto
Ann Bevitt  Partner London
Wendy Brenner  Partner Palo Alto, Los Angeles – Santa Monica
Leslie Cancel  Special Counsel San Francisco
Helenanne Connolly  Partner Reston
Elizabeth Lewis  Senior Counsel Washington, DC, Reston
Joseph Lockinger  Associate Washington, DC
Joshua Mates  Partner San Francisco
Anna Matsuo  Resource Attorney New York
Gerard O'Shea  Partner New York
Miriam Petrillo  Special Counsel Chicago
Bronwyn L. Roberts  Special Counsel Boston
Ryan Vann  Partner Chicago
Lois Voelz  Senior Counsel Palo Alto
Summer Wynn  Partner San Diego, Los Angeles – Santa Monica
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Employment & Labor