The Age of the Drive-By Lawsuit: Title III and Defending Against Vexatious Litigants

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), as with almost all legislation in this country, is well-intentioned and does in fact serve a very powerful purpose in the modern world.   People who have disabilities that make them differently-abled than most are still citizens with all the rights of their neighbors, and as a result, they deserve to have access to the same services and benefits as everyone else.  Requiring businesses to make reasonable efforts to make their services accessible is in keeping with this country’s overall spirit of egalitarian and fair-minded camaraderie.  After all, no one confined to a wheelchair should be prevented from using a public restroom. Continue reading

Employee Handbook Basics

Every employer in the State of Florida is advised to have a set of written policies and procedures collected in what’s commonly called an “Employee Handbook” that is distributed to new hires.  While some very small businesses (with fewer than two or three employees) may feel safe going without this formality, the fact is when you hire an employee, you open yourself to liability, and having written policies can help defend you against claims.

The question of what should be contained in your employee handbook is best directed to a qualified employment law attorney in Florida, who can help analyze your specific business culture, but there are some basics that should always be included. Continue reading

Start Defending Against Wage & Hour Lawsuits before They’re Filed

If you own a business that employs people, chances are you will someday be hit with a wage and hour claim by an employee or former employee.  It’s not necessarily because people are mean-spirited or greedy – it’s simply very easy for an employee, especially one whose relationship with their job has soured, to convince themselves that they’ve been wronged.  After all, many employees have a “David and Goliath” attitude towards their employers – you have all the money and power, and they have none.

Defending against these claims is more complicated than other legal problems.  In fact, the best way to defend against such wage and hour claims is to start defending against them before they even begin. Continue reading

Employers: Avoiding Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Begins with Training

Almost no employer opens their office or shop with the intention of harassing its employees in any way.  Most wish nothing but the best for their employees and work diligently to improve conditions, opportunities, and compensation so their employees are happy in their work and eager to go the extra mile.

As a result, many employers are surprised when they find themselves facing a sexual harassment lawsuit.  Luckily, it is relatively easy to avoid such scenarios. Continue reading

Educating Managers about Employee Discrimination

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that while most employers mean well when it comes to their employees, they are not always educated or informed when it comes to the laws that exist to protect employees against discrimination.  It is therefore necessary for employees to educate themselves so they can protect themselves and inform their employers of the applicable laws.

Here’s what every employee should work to ensure their employer knows. Continue reading

The Employment Laws Every Employer Must Know

The story of labor in general is one of increasing rights and protections, and the modern business climate sees employees enjoying the best conditions in history.  As an employer, it is incumbent upon you to be familiar with the Florida and federal laws that protect employees so you don’t run afoul of them by accident.  Here are the laws every Florida employer needs to know. Continue reading

What to Do When the EEOC Comes Knocking

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is something most employers don’t think about – or, sometimes, even realize exists – until the day they are contacted about a complaint.  As a result, employers make several common mistakes regarding an EEOC investigation in Florida and across the country that can worsen their situation or even guarantee they are dragged into court with a bad outcome.  As with other aspects of business, there are some key steps that an employer can take to mitigate the damage and limit the trouble an EEOC investigation causes. Continue reading

Employer’s Rights in a Wrongful Termination Case

It’s never easy to part ways with an employee, but the situation can become more complex when the employee attempts to pursue a wrongful termination case.  In the vast majority of Florida employment situations, employers and employees have an “at will” relationship.  This gives the employer the right to alter the conditions and term of the employment at any time, without notice, and for any reason.

There are certain situations in which the “at will” arrangement does not apply, but they are rare.  A union collective bargaining agreement, an employment contract that outlines other protections and rights, and civil serve regulations that govern the work of public employees are all examples of situations where the employee does not serve at the will of the employer. Continue reading

Next Steps for an Employer Accused of Sexual Harassment

Being accused of sexual harassment in the workplace should never be taken lightly; even the presence of a case itself can harm your reputation.  If an employee alleges that you have engaged in sexually harassing behavior, your next steps are crucial for a possible legal case but also for your own peace of mind.

If you have been accused, do not joke about the matter.  An employee must be able to demonstrate four things in order for a sexual harassment case in Ft. Lauderdale to be successful: that the employee was subjected to conduct that was sexual in nature, that the conduct was not welcomed by that employee, that the conduct persisted in a pervasive or severe manner, and that the continued sexual harassment altered employment conditions to create a discriminatory abusive working environment. Continue reading

How to Handle Being Accused of Workplace Discrimination

The term workplace discrimination might seem a bit broad, and that’s because the legal cases that fall into this category are known for being complex.  If you have been accused of discriminating against someone in the workplace, you need to protect your interests by hiring a Florida workplace discrimination attorney.

Being accused of workplace discrimination is a serious matter.  The Florida laws about workplace discrimination are quite clear, and if your employee or former employer has exaggerated their claims, you need to protect your rights in court.  Cases where an employee alleges discrimination as a result of work ethic or personality, for example, do not meet the legal guidelines for a workplace discrimination suit. Continue reading