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Fort Lauderdale Employment Law Blog

It's Storm Season in Florida: Here's What Employers Should Know About Working Through A Hurricane

As the entire nation reels over the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael, employer rights and responsibilities regarding conducting business during major storms is back in the spotlight. One of the most frequently asked questions revolves around whether employers have the right to require employees to work during a hurricane or other national disaster, and if employees can be fired for failure to do so. Although the answer to these questions seems simple on the surface, there are several important factors to consider.

Amazon announces $15 minimum wage for all US employees

Amazon is raising the bar when it comes to employee wages. The retail giant, which employs more than 250,000 permanent and 100,000 temporary workers, recently announced plans to raise the minimum wage for all employees to $15 per hour. The change also applies to employees of Amazon-owned Whole Foods and all other subsidiaries.

As one of the largest employers in the United States, this change reaches far beyond the immediate impact on Amazon employers. The company founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also happens to be the richest man alive with an estimated net worth of $156 billion, released a statement that he's excited about the change and encourages other large U.S. employers to follow suit. 

How Florida's Low Unemployment Rate Could Hurt Unlawfully Fired Workers

Unemployment rates in the United States are falling, and job gains have been reported in the transportation, warehouse, business, and healthcare sectors. While this may seem like good news to most, these positive trends have negatively impacted one subset of American employees - those who have been wrongfully terminated from their jobs. 

Fair Share Fees Deal Major Blow to Public-Sector Unions in Recent Supreme Court Ruling

State and local public-sector unions will need to find new sources of revenue to fund their negotiations, thanks for a recent Supreme Court ruling striking down what's known as "fair-share fees." The ruling, which occurred in June of 2018, struck down an Illinois law which gave agencies the power to collect fees from non-union members to fund collective bargaining actions. There are laws similar to this one in 22 other states.

Background Check Timing Proves Crucial in Recent Cases of "Informational Injury"

When it comes to running criminal background checks on potential new hires, employers must remember that small mistakes can lead to serious consequences. This was recently brought to light by the putative class action lawsuit of Ratliff v. Celadon Trucking Services. The plaintiff in the case, a job applicant who was denied employment based on the results of his background check, alleged injury-in-fact for the failure to receive required disclosures. Although the suit was eventually dismissed, the details of the case should serve as a warning to other employers.

New Options for Employee Health Plans Through AHPs Have Florida Employers Talking

A recent Department of Labor (DOL) ruling titled "Definition of 'Employer' Under Section 3(5) of ERISA-Association Health Plans" has grabbed the attention of employers in Florida and across the nation.

Vermont Makes Bold Move To Remove "No Rehire" Clauses From Contracts

In an effort to protect victims who come forward with workplace discrimination or sexual harassment claims, the state of Vermont has recently outlawed "no rehire" clauses, which are commonly included in separation agreements following claim settlement.

The ban is part of a larger harassment protection law that was passed by the state last month. Vermont is leading the way as the first state in the country to deem these clauses illegal. The new law, which was spurred on by the #MeToo movement, also includes a phone line and website to report harassment claims and bans nondisclosure agreements that prohibit harassment claim reporting.

Is It Discrimination? In Specialty Roles, Lines Are Blurred For Fired Workers

A recent lawsuit by a former Walt Disney World employee has raised some concern over the topic of pregnancy discrimination for workers in specialty roles. The plaintiff, Krista Crowder, claims she should not have been fired for taking a medically-necessary 11- month leave following her pregnancy.

Before becoming pregnant with twins, Crowder worked for Disney as an aerial performer in Animal Kingdom's Festival of the Lion King show. As part of her role, she was required to strap into a harness and fly over the audience.

Don't Be Caught In The Middle of A Wage Dispute: Here's What To Avoid

Wage disputes caused by improper employee classifications are in the spotlight again. This time the Department of Labor (DOL) focus was on the classification of food truck managers as salaried versus hourly employees. Upon review of the allegations, the DOL sided with employees, requiring restaurant chain Clover Food Lab to pay $79,337 in back wages and fines. The company's owner, Ayr Muir, contends that his business has always done its best to stay "on the up-and-up" and did not intentionally misclassify employees. Despite his strong objection, Muir has no recourse short of a cost-prohibitive lawsuit against the DOL. Here's his side of the story.

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Danz Law, PLLC
11011 Sheridan Street
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Cooper City, Florida 33026

Toll Free: 866-640-1080
Phone: 954-406-7535
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