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Fort Lauderdale Employment Law Blog

Employees of Educational Institutions Likely Protected From Sexual Orientation Discrimination under Title IX

With the #MeToo movement, there has been heightened awareness and actions taken against incidents of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination across many business sectors. There have been long been civil rights laws in place with the intent of protecting workers from sexual discrimination in the workplace and in educational institution. However, discrimination on the basis of an employee's sexual orientation is still a gray area where legislation is concerned. This is changing as recent federal appellate court decisions are reevaluating the extension of both Title VII and Title IX to workplace protections against sexual orientation discrimination. Most educational institutions, such as colleges, universities and many K-12 schools are required to abide by Title IX's sex discrimination protections.

What to Expect When Your Employee Is Expecting: How To Navigate Maternity Leave and Avoid Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

Workplace discrimination is a serious allegation. As an employer, knowing what not to say in certain situations can save you a lot of problems. This is particularly important when dealing with an employee who is expecting.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA"), enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), provides clear guidelines for pregnant women's rights. It also enforces limits on actions employers can take based on their employee's pregnancy status. The following real-life cases brought forth by the EEOC can serve as a reminder that even well-intentioned actions can create a world of headaches.

If you want to keep yourself out of court, avoid saying the following four things to your employees.


Florida Teacher Unions Risk Decertification Under New Law

Some of Florida's teachers' unions may be in trouble. On March 11th, Governor Rick Scott signed into law H.B. 7055, which included a provision to allow for decertification of certain labor organizations based on the percentage of dues-paying members. The move brought objections from labor-union supporters but was hailed by the Governor and others as an effective move towards increasing transparency.

How To Delineate Workplace Bullying and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

In today's litigious society, complaints of workplace bullying and harassment are on the rise. Harassment allegations must never be taken lightly, and any behavior that creates a toxic work environment should be addressed. However, not all harassing behavior creates a legally actionable offense.

Having a clear understanding of your legal rights and responsibilities as an employer is your first step to effectively addressing inappropriate workplace behavior.

How Will Florida's Medical Marijuana Laws Affect Employers?

Thanks to the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, passed in November of 2016, medical marijuana use is now legal in the state of Florida. This is considered a major victory for patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions, but it's also raised some concerns for Florida employers.

Senate bill SB 8-A, approved by Governor Rick Scott on June 23, 2017, provided much-needed clarification regarding employer's rights and responsibilities when it comes to cannabis-related issues in the workplace. Here's what you need to know.


Employers Reminded That Non-Compete Agreements Must Be Reasonable To Be Enforceable

Non-compete agreements are standard practice in many businesses, but they may not provide as much protection as you think. In Florida, these agreements are usually only enforceable if they are considered reasonable in terms of the time period and geographical location covered, and the business has a statutorily protected legitimate business interest.

Despite efforts to meet these requirements, employers may be surprised to find that court rulings almost always favor the employees. The courts are generally hesitant to enforce contracts that limit an employee's right to seek alternate employment, particularly if they are not using the protected business interest in a way that creates unfair competition.

It Stops Here: Florida House Pushes Bill Cracking Down on Workplace Sexual Harassment

The state of Florida is poised to lead the way in halting workplace sexual misconduct. A recently-introduced bill promises Florida workers what House Speaker Richard Corcoran called "the strongest sexual harassment protections in the nation." If passed, the new laws could deem a single unwanted sexual advance as an actionable offense.

It's no coincidence that this bill was introduced following recent sexual harassment allegations against Florida Republican Sen. Jack Latvala. The new regulations would apply to legislative members, lobbyists, state employees, and some other private third parties.

Supreme Court Denies Review to DirecTV in Joint-Employment Case: What This Means Nationwide

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently denied a request to weigh in on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) joint employment case, DirecTV v. Hall. A Fourth Circuit ruling in January of 2017 found that satellite installation technicians, who were treated as independent contractors, were actually jointly employed by DirecTV and the intermediary companies providing the installation work. The request was brought about based on the argument that the courts ignored a previous standard in favor of a new one.

Florida Lawmakers Move To Protect Immigrant Workers Form Unlawful Termination

Undocumented workers injured on the job find themselves in the difficult position of deciding whether to file for the compensation they deserve or suffer in silence. Workers who have obtained employment illegally must concern themselves with the threat of being reported by their employer or the insurance company. This is happening all too frequently, as unscrupulous organizations attempt to avoid paying workers compensation claims. Some Florida lawmakers are calling this exploitation and taking efforts to implement change.

Know The Law: Is it Legal To Give Company-Wide Bonuses Instead of Overtime?

When business is booming, it's definitely a cause for celebration. As things start to get busier, asking your employees to pick up some extra hours is a common practice. You may be planning on rewarding your staff with a company-wide bonus, but if you intend to do this in lieu of overtime pay, you need to think again.

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