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Broward County Employment Law Blog

Pottery company faces racial discrimination lawsuit

Workers in Florida may land in the employ of a company at which all employees are not treated equally. Discrimination comes in many forms, one of which is ethnic or racial discrimination. While some employers obviously avoid appointing people of certain races, others are much more subtle in their discrimination. However, such treatment should not be endured as it is strictly prohibited by several state and federal laws.

A former employee of a pottery business in another state recently filed a lawsuit against the business alleging wrongful termination and retaliation that followed racial discrimination. Court documents show that the plaintiff is a black man who had been employed by the company since 2002. The man claims he was offered a lower position by his superior. When he refused this position, he was allegedly accused of subordination and his employment was terminated.

Restaurant must pay $141,544 for unpaid overtime

Workers in Florida and other states may be done in by their employers if they have to work at multiple locations. After the U.S. Department of Labor recently found that a restaurant in another state failed to accurately calculate the hours worked by employees, the owner reached a settlement agreement. A total amount of $141,544 in unpaid overtime remuneration and damages will be paid to 11 workers. Because it was deemed to have committed a civil violation, the restaurant will also be liable to pay $2,805 in civil penalties.

The action by DOL followed a complaint by the restaurant employees reporting that they worked in two different locations in the same week. To avoid paying overtime, the employer reportedly calculated their work hours at each site separately. If added together, their hours exceeded the 40 hour limit for normal work hours. They were, therefore, denied the higher rate of payment for overtime hours.

Worker accuses former employer of race discrimination

Nationwide, including in Florida, it is against the law to treat one employee differently or less favorably than another based on a range of aspects. These include a worker's immigration status, national origin, descent, color or race. Federal and state laws prohibit such practices, and workers can take action against employers who allow race discrimination in their businesses.

A project managing company in another state is facing a lawsuit that was recently filed by a former employee alleging racial discrimination. The worker claims the employer violated the Civil Rights Act by discriminating against him. He also accuses his former employers of creating a hostile workplace environment, retaliating against him, and, ultimately, terminating his employment.

TV commentator alleges sexual harassment by Fox CEO

There are various types of workplace discrimination to which Florida employees can be subjected. Sexual harassment is one kind of treatment that involves unwelcome behavior with a sexual connotation. Unfortunately, despite the changing of workplace environments to accommodate both men and women across all industries, it is not uncommon for a supervisor to demand a sexual relationship in exchange for a promotion or other favorable treatment.

A high profile sexual harassment case was recently announced when a television commentator, Gretchen Carlson, filed a lawsuit against the CEO and Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes. Carlson alleges Ailes promised her a smooth path in her career at Fox but demanded sex in exchange. Carlson further claims her job was terminated when she refused this unwanted attention of the CEO.

Whistleblower claims: Midas facing retaliation lawsuit

Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who report unethical or illegal acts or unsafe workplace environments. Florida has laws in place to protect workers against retaliation. However, whistleblower claims are frequently filed by workers who exercised their rights only to find themselves without jobs.

One victim of such retaliation recently filed a lawsuit against a Midas store and one of its staff members in another state. According to court documents, a mechanic who had been an employee of the defendant for four years discussed a wage issue with the named staff member. Then, in May this year, he filed a report about workplace safety with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Employment discrimination allegations made against Google

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says 43 was the median age for computer programmers in 2015. These are nationwide statistics that include Florida. In contrast, it has been said that, in 2013, the median age of Google employees was 29. This information relates to an employment discrimination lawsuit that was filed against Google last year, alleging age discrimination.

A man who failed to secure a job with Google -- despite being adequately qualified and experienced -- sued the Silicon Valley heavyweight last year. The alleged discrimination took place in 2011 when the plaintiff was 60 years old. A motion for collective action status was recently filed to allow other unsuccessful applicants over the age of 40 to join the lawsuit. This will include all individuals age 40 or older at the time of personal interviews for programming and software-related jobs with Google who failed to secure employment. The dateline stretches from August 13, 2010 to the present.

Workplace discrimination: Replacing old with young is less costly

Many Baby Boomers in Florida are reaching a time in their careers at which their age may be seen as a disadvantage. Those who are now in their 50s and 60s likely went through college with a heightened awareness of their rights and may not be inclined to put up with age discrimination in their places of work. Fortunately, help is available from the attorneys at The Amlong Firm in Fort Lauderdale, who are aggressive advocates for those facing workplace discrimination.

It is not uncommon for the employment of older workers to be terminated, with younger employees hired in their places. One excuse is that older workers become less competent as they age. In most cases, the real reason is the fact that younger workers can be employed at much lower salaries. The benefits typically provided to younger workers also come at a much lower cost to the company.

Violations of employee rights may lead to lawsuits

Florida workers have obligations and rights governed by state and federal employment laws. Both former and current employees and even those individuals who are applying for jobs have rights. Due to the diversity of the issues that can arise, the support and guidance of an experienced employment law attorney may be of great help for those who want to pursue legal action against an employer for a violation of employee rights.

Workplace discrimination, violations of safety regulations, wage and tax law violations may all be a proper basis of a civil claim. If the claim pertains to a contract between the employer and employee, the duties and rights of the parties will likely be governed by state law alone. A seasoned attorney can help identify which laws may be applicable to a particular situation.

Workplace discrimination: Claims involving family care increasing

A nonprofit research group in another state reported a growing number of lawsuits in which family responsibility discrimination is alleged. The group expects an ongoing increase in such workplace discrimination cases as the percentages of aging parents needing care and the responsibilities of caring for physically challenged family members increase. There is also a marked increase in the number of men who assume the roles of primary caregivers across the country, including in Florida.

The majority of these claims include complaints such as the unfair treatment of workers with elder care obligations. The same consideration is required for men who are responsible for the care of a spouse, elderly family members or children. Another group of people who seem to endure discrimination is pregnant women and those who need accommodation for breastfeeding after their return to work.

911 Call Center worker sues city alleging FMLA violation

Workers in Florida whose employers fail to accommodate them in times of ill health may find comfort in knowing that they are entitled to pursue recovery of lost income and other losses. One such a lawsuit was filed against a city in another state. An employee alleges violations of the FMLA in her employer's reaction to her request for medical leave.

According to the complaint, the employee had been an employee of the city's 911 Call Center since 2008. Her position at that time was a part-time appointment as a quality assurance manager. She contends that on June 23, 2014, she informed her employer that she was scheduled for surgery, and she requested a week to recover. Although the director seemed willing to accommodate her at first, he allegedly informed her later that day that she could only maintain her job if she would accept a different position.

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