Common Employment Law Issues
Going to work can be stressful, and not just because of rude customers and strict deadlines. Sometimes employers engage in illegal activities that can stress out workers, endanger them, and generally make their lives a living hell.
When an employer breaks the law, they can not only face fines from regulating agencies, but they can also face civil lawsuits from employees. Labor laws may be state or federal in nature, and while there are processes that employees must go through, they can sue employers and recover compensation for damages. Here are some common employment law issues that you should keep in mind as an employee or employer.
Under state and federal laws, employees and job applicants are protected by unfair treatment in the workplace, including harassment and discrimination based on protected classes such as race, national origin, religion, gender, genetic information, pregnancy, age, or disability. Harassment refers to unwelcome conduct that may or may not be sexual in nature, while discrimination refers to unfavorable treatment toward a person, such as pay cuts, demotions, or termination based on a protected class.
Wage/Overtime Pay Issues
Employers must abide by wage and hour laws and pay employees appropriately. Minimum wage in Florida is $11, with overtime (any hours above 40 in one week) paid at 1.5 times the regular rate. That means that a worker earning $12 an hour must earn $18 an hour for overtime pay. Employers who do not pay appropriately can be sued and fined unless the employees are exempt. Examples of exempt employees include executives, administrators, and other professionals earning at least $455 per week, as well as certain salespeople.
Denial of Workers’ Compensation
An employee who is injured or sick while on the job is typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits provide coverage for medical expenses and lost wages for injured workers, as well as benefits for dependents of workers who are killed in workplace accidents. However, because employers have to pay for these benefits, they may deny them to employees for no valid reason.
Florida and all other states (except Montana) are “at-will” states when it comes to employment, which means that an employer can let an employee go for any reason, with or without notice, as long as there is no contract in place and the termination is not a violation of the law (such as retaliation). If you feel that you were wrongfully terminated, contact a lawyer to learn about your legal options.
Seek Legal Help
The relationship between an employer and employee can sometimes be complicated. When an employee is not paid properly or treated appropriately, the employer can face legal issues.
If you are in this situation, seek legal help from Fort Lauderdale business litigation lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. We’ll help resolve your business dispute. To schedule a consultation, call 954-764-4330 or fill out the online form.