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Workplace discrimination: Lowe's reach $8.6 million settlement

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against any person with disabilities in transportation, communications, public accommodation, government activities and employment. Any Florida resident who suffers workplace discrimination because of physical challenges retains the right to hold such an employer accountable. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) strives to protect employees from discrimination of any form.

Lowe's, a chain of retail home improvement and appliance stores in the United States, has reached an $8.6 million settlement with thousands of victims of disability discrimination that were dismissed from their positions with the company. The EEOC determined that Lowe's failed to provide accommodations when workers exceeded the company's rigid leave-of-absence management program that offered no flexibility. Instead of providing accommodation, employees were fired.

Employment discrimination: Young mothers have rights too

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the lives of many young pregnant women are made tough in their workplaces in Florida and other states. In environments in which employment discrimination is prevalent, young mothers-to-be often suffer stress, anxiety and depression. This does not only harm the health of the mothers but also their unborn babies.

A significant number of expectant and new mothers are in junior positions in which they earn minimal wages. They are typically busy working themselves up to a stage where they would qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, but they are not there yet. Coping with the costs of childcare and other responsibilities of a mother while meeting the expectations of an unsympathetic employer can be extremely challenging.

Workplace discrimination: Lawsuit follows failure to accommodate

Employees in Florida and across the country who have physical restrictions are protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Victims of such workplace discrimination may seek the support of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC will endeavor to negotiate voluntary compliance, failing which, legal action will be taken.

One such lawsuit was recently filed against the holding company of a gasoline retailer that operates in the parking lots of Walmart in over 20 states. According to the complaint, a worker who had been employed by the defendant for 10 years developed a back ailment. His doctor ordered specific accommodations to be made by the employer, but those accommodations were refused.

Help is available to sue employers not paying minimum wage

Florida workers may feel powerless if their employers fail to pay them what they are due. There are different situations in which employers may violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not paying minimum wage. Regardless of the category of worker who is denied proper remuneration, help is available to take appropriate legal action.

These violations often occur among tipped workers such as bartenders and food servers. Under federal law, employers must top up tips to ensure workers received at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for eight-hour shifts. Chefs, managers and other non-tipped employees may not share in the tip pool. It is also not uncommon for employers to avoid paying employees for hours worked beyond normal hours. Some employers even try to get away with deducting time spent on work-related activities -- such as training sessions, meetings and related activities -- often in an effort to avoid paying overtime.

Dunkin' Donuts sued for alleged violation of wage and hour law

Dunkin' Donuts, a franchise with outlets nationwide, including in Florida, is facing a class action lawsuit in another state. The owners of several stores, including one person owning sixteen Dunkin' Donuts outlets along with the person who managed the payrolls for those stores, are being sued by four former employees who allege wage and hour law violations. The plaintiffs, who seek class action status, claim nonpayment of overtime and unauthorized deductions from their salaries.

The plaintiffs contend that they -- and other workers -- often worked additional hours before and after their regular shifts. Although these hours were indicated on their clock cards, it is alleged that the defendant who does the payroll regularly instructed store managers to adjust the clock-in and clock–out times. The defendant would then deduct any overtime from their recorded work hours, thereby denying them the additional payment.

Workplace discrimination: Religion allegedly caused dismissal

A woman in another state recently filed a lawsuit against her former employers, alleging that her refusal to change her religious beliefs led to her termination. Workers in Florida and across the country have certain rights that may not be violated. Victims of workplace discrimination, harassment or any other kind of employment abuse may be entitled to take legal action. A bottled water company will now have to answer to the woman's claims of religion discrimination.

According to the lawsuit, the woman was hired as a brand ambassador for the company in March 2015. She alleges that watching Scientology-based videos on her first day at work was mandatory, despite the fact that she practices a different religion. A baptized Catholic, she attends a Christian church. The woman further alleges that she was promised higher remuneration if she agreed to partake in self-improvement courses. Although she attended one of the classes, she asserts that she excused herself and left when she felt uncomfortable.

Wrongful termination claim after alleged gender discrimination

All workers in Florida have constitutional rights and may take action if those rights are violated. Unfortunately, some employers fail to protect employees against workplace discrimination. A worker in another state recently filed a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination.

According to the complaint that was filed by a former municipal employee, she was subjected to hostility in the workplace after she mentioned her intention to apply for a more senior position. The plaintiff contends that after she had expressed her wish to secure a position as a supervisor, she was constantly harassed about not being qualified for the job. She asserts that she was told that her being a woman disqualified her for the position.

Former store manager alleges employment discrimination in lawsuit

How should a person in Florida react if he or she is treated differently to any other employees in a workplace? Although employment discrimination is rampant, victims do not always know what to do about it. In many cases, workers ignore discriminatory actions and hope they will not recur, while others do not believe they can take on large companies in legal actions. No one should endure any violations of civil rights or employment laws.

A Men's Wearhouse location in another state is facing a lawsuit that was recently filed by a former employee alleging disability discrimination. Court documents show that the plaintiff was employed as a manager in one of the group's stores. In 2015, after six years of employment, she contends she suffered several medical problems necessitating certain accommodations at her workplace.

Racial discrimination accusations leveled at car dealership

Considering the number of hours employees in Florida and elsewhere spend at their places of work every day, it is not surprising that lawsuits are filed against employers who allow the maltreatment of employees in any manner. A lawsuit was recently filed by an employee of a Chevrolet dealership in another state. The man alleges racial discrimination and retaliation that ultimately led to wrongful termination.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges Caucasian workers were allowed to congregate in the showroom to await potential customers, while he was disciplined for doing the same. He further claims that he received fewer sales leads and referrals than his white colleagues. The plaintiff claims that no action followed his complaints, and, instead, he was terminated.

Jury awards $806,000 after sexual harassment of firefighter

Employees nationwide, including in Florida, have certain rights that may not be violated by employers or co-workers. A lieutenant with a fire department in another state claimed her early retirement followed years of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. A jury agreed that her rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act were violated and awarded her $806,000 for punitive and emotional damages, along with lost wages for the earnings she forfeited by early retirement.

According to the lawsuit, the woman claimed that the harassment and discrimination were brought about by the fact that she was making rapid progress in her career at the fire department, despite being a female who is also a lesbian. She contended that the abuse came from a select few of her colleagues and not the entire department. However, despite multiple written and verbal complaints to superiors, no action was ever taken against the other employees.

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