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Fort Lauderdale Employment Law Blog

What employers must consider regarding waivers of discrimination claims - II

In a series of posts, our blog has discussed how there might very well come a day when small business owners must proceed with layoffs or reductions in force due to circumstances beyond their control, and how they must ensure that their actions in this area don't run afoul of federal employment discrimination laws.

Furthermore, we discussed how small business owners are legally permitted to ask departing employees to sign waivers of discrimination claims, but that certain rules must be observed in order for these waivers to be considered valid.

With medical marijuana a reality, what do employers need to know? - II

In our previous post, we discussed how even though Florida is now officially among the majority of states in which marijuana has been legalized for medicinal purposes, the state law codifying the creation of the medical pot program has nevertheless provided state health officials with six months to devise a distribution strategy.

We also discussed how this is perhaps good news for Sunshine State employers, as it will provide them with more time to consider how they want to proceed in this new legal landscape, which is noticeably silent regarding the important issue of employer rights and responsibilities.

With medical marijuana a reality, what do employers need to know?

Earlier this week, medical marijuana officially became accessible to any Floridian in possession of state-issued identification card, which serves to verify that their use of the drug to treat a qualifying medical condition has been approved by a licensed physician.

While Florida is now among the majority of states in which marijuana has been legalized for medicinal purposes, it's important to note that state law has provided state health officials with six months to devise a strategy for distributing the substance.

Uncertainty lingers after injunction puts overtime rule on hold

In our previous post, we spent some time discussing how many business owners across the nation were bracing themselves for the December 1 implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor's new overtime rule, which essentially called for doubling the annual overtime salary threshold to $47,476 and, by extension, a major expansion of the pool of workers eligible for time-and-a-half.

We also discussed how business owners were wondering what the fate of the rule would be once President-elect Donald Trump took office on January 20. Fast forward to the present, however, and the matter has only become even more unclear thanks to the decision of a federal judge. 

Will the recent presidential election affect the new overtime rule?

Even though we're just about to enter one of the busiest times of the year for many business owners, it's important for them not to lose sight of the fact that we're currently just over a week away from the U.S. Department of Labor's new overtime rule officially taking effect.

Perhaps not surprisingly, many business owners are now wondering what action President-elect Donald Trump might take regarding the overtime rule in the days, weeks or months ahead, and what effect, if any, this might have on them. 

What employers must consider regarding waivers of discrimination claims

Back in September, our blog discussed how there will likely come a time for even the most diligent small business owners when layoffs or reductions in force prove unavoidable given major drops in profits or some other type of mounting financial pressures.

We also discussed that when this unfortunate day arrives, these small business owners must take steps to ensure that the ensuring layoffs or reductions in force are not discriminatory, meaning they do not result in the disproportionate dismissal of groups of employees otherwise protected by federal employment discrimination laws.

Understanding the Dept. of Labor's new overtime rule - II

Last time, our blog discussed how no matter how busy business owners may be at the moment, they must ensure that they are prepared for an exceedingly important new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor that will take effect very soon.

Specifically, we discussed how 4.2 million workers across the U.S. -- including 331,000 here in Florida -- will become eligible for overtime pay on December 1, meaning employers now have less than six weeks to make the necessary adjustments.

Understanding the Dept. of Labor's new overtime rule

Right now, business owners of all sizes are gearing up for the final push that typically precedes the end of the year. For some this means making sure inventory is stocked and positions filled for the impending holiday season, and for others it means meeting longstanding deadlines and fulfilling yearly sales goals.

This reality, coupled with the need to manage day-to-day operational concerns, means that business owners are now exceedingly busy. However, no matter how engaged they may be, they cannot afford to overlook an exceedingly important mandate from the U.S. Department of Labor slated to take effect on December 1.

Why employers must proceed carefully when planning layoffs

As much as small business owners would perhaps like to imagine otherwise, there will come a point at which they experience a slump in sales or some other unforeseeable financial difficulties. While most of the time these problems can be effectively managed or simply endured, the situation may become dire enough that the possibility of layoffs or reductions in force must be considered.

As truly unfortunate as this reality is, it's important for small business owners to proceed with caution in the event they have no choice but to take this route. In particular, they must take steps to ensure that the ensuring layoffs or reductions in force are not discriminatory.

EEOC issues updated guidance on retaliation - II

In our previous post, we discussed how employers should be aware that the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission recently released its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, an update 18 years in the making.

In recognition of this momentous occasion and the fact that the EEOC identifies retaliation as the most frequently alleged basis of employment discrimination, we started examining what small business owners need to know about retaliation going forward, an effort we'll continue in today's post. 

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