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©2018 by Fistel Law Group

FLORIDA EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR LAW

Employee Rights

Our firm represents clients in employment law matters. We handle these cases on behalf of employees who have experienced a range of injustices in the workplace.

Sexual Harassment

Some valuable steps to protecting yourself and building a strong case against sexual harassment are:

  • Thoroughly document the harassment that is taking place. Include details such as dates, times, who is involved, witnesses, comments, inappropriate touching, or any other relevant information.

  • Report the harassment at work. Sexual harassment claims are against employers. If you do not make your employer aware of the harassment, this can damage your claim. Report the harassment to your human resources department and/or your boss and let him or her know that you feel uncomfortable at work.

  • Review your employee handbook. Many employers have official policies regarding harassment. If you do not have a copy of the handbook, request one. If your workplace does not have one, ask if you may obtain a copy of any other employee policies.

Wage and hour – overtime disputes

Federal and State laws govern the manner in which employees are to be paid. Generally, unless otherwise “exempt” from overtime compensation, most employees must be paid at least the mandated minimum wage, plus overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek. The “exemptions” available under the law are limited. Contact our office to determine whether a violation has occurred.

Separation and severance negotiations – Employment Contract Disputes

When an employee leaves a company, especially if the employee has been with an employer for an extended period of time, it is often necessary to have a detailed agreement settling the rights of the employee and employer. Severance agreements have a substantial impact on employee’s legal rights and obligations, as well as future employment. If you are considering a severance agreement or are involved in a severance agreement related dispute, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced employment law attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and that your interests are put forward and defended in the best possible way.

We represent clients throughout Florida in all severance-related matters including:

  • Employment contracts

  • Contract disputes/breach of contract claims

  • Evaluation of pensions/vested benefits

  • Evaluation of COBRA benefits

  • Retirement benefits

  • Evaluation of existing obligations such as non-compete agreements

  • Evaluation of new obligations created by the severance agreement

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Whistle-blower Retaliation

Florida law prohibits retaliation against employees who provide information to governmental agencies or who object to unlawful acts of the employer. Retaliation can include termination, demotion, reduction in pay and benefits, and other material changes in the employment relationship, such as an inconvenient shift change.

We have experience handling whistleblower cases and can help you determine whether a violation of the law has occurred.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides an entitlement of up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible, covered employees for the following reasons:

1) Birth and care of the eligible employee’s child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee
2) Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition
3) Care of the employee’s own serious health condition

To be eligible for FMLA leave you must:

  • Work at a work site within 75 miles of employer

  • Have worked at least a total of 12 months for the employer

  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the date FMLA leave begins

The FMLA requires employers to restore employees who return from FMLA leave to the same or equivalent position with pay, benefits and responsibilities similar to the level that existed when leave of absence began.

If you feel you are having an issue with your employer regarding your FMLA rights in Florida, contact our office for a consultation about your case.

Sexual Harassment

  • Thoroughly document the harassment that is taking place. 

  • Report the harassment at work. 

  • Review your employee handbook

Wage and hour – overtime disputes

 

Separation and severance negotiations – Employment Contract Disputes

  • Employment contracts

  • Contract disputes/breach of contract claims

  • Evaluation of pensions/vested benefits

  • Evaluation of COBRA benefits

  • Retirement benefits

  • Evaluation of existing obligations such as non-compete agreements

  • Evaluation of new obligations created by the severance agreement

  • Whistleblower Retaliation

  • Workers’ Compensation Retaliation

  • Unemployment Compensation Disputes

 

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) provides an entitlement of up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible, covered employees for the following reasons:

1) Birth and care of the eligible employee’s child, or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee
2) Care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition
3) Care of the employee’s own serious health condition

To be eligible for FMLA leave you must:

  • Work at a work site within 75 miles of employer

  • Have worked at least a total of 12 months for the employer

  • Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately before the date FMLA leave begins

The FMLA requires employers to restore employees who return from FMLA leave to the same or equivalent position with pay, benefits and responsibilities similar to the level that existed when leave of absence began.

 

Workplace Discrimination
Defending you against workplace discrimination because of race, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, religion, national origin and more.

 

  • Creating barriers to employment

  • Unequal use of discipline or demotions

  • Denial of training or access to important work information

  • Failure to promote or provide opportunities for growth

  • Unequal pay

  • Wrongful termination and job loss

  • Harassment

 

Florida Non-Compete Agreement Law

 

If you signed a non-compete agreement as an employee with your employer, you must be aware that there are several facts that can prevent enforcement of a restrictive covenant. Including:

 

  • Establishing that the employer breached the agreement by failing to provide certain benefits, compensation or employment conditions

  • Establishing that the employer was involved in conduct that violates specific laws

  • Establishing that it is not necessary for the restriction to protect the employer’s interest or that the entire scope of the agreement is unreasonable

 

Government – Public Sector Employees

Our work on behalf of employees include representation in:

 

  • Civil Service Board Hearings

  • Administrative hearings

  • Collective Bargaining

  • Disciplinary hearings and appeals of other adverse personnel actions

  • Pension and disability litigation

  • Arbitration

 

Federal, State, City & County Employees Employment Rights

 

Federal EEO Claims

Federal employees face extremely short time frames to bring claims of discrimination based on age, race, sex, disability, national origin, or religion. Claims must be initiated through an informal EEO complaint within 45 days. Subsequent to informal complaint being filed and reviewed, a formal complaint must be brought within a specific time period. If there is a Failure to adhere to these time periods, the result will be a loss of any rights a federal employee may have to pursue a claim of discrimination.

 

Fistel Law Group provides thorough representation on behalf of federal employees in the investigative process and also in hearings before administrative law judges.