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Employment Contracts Archives

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.

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.

How​ ​A​ ​Startup's​ ​Legal​ ​Battle​ ​Could Redefine​ ​Tech​ ​Workers'​ ​Rights

Contracts that prevent employees from working for competitors after terminating their current employment are commonly known as non-compete agreements. These agreements are common practice for many Florida businesses. They are designed to, among other things, protect your business from unscrupulous employees who may try to share trade secrets and other proprietary information with their new employers.

The US Secretary Of Labor Has Had Enough: Confronting Visa Program Fraud and Abuse Nationwide

On October 9, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta issued a statement announcing the Trump administration's commitment to battling Federal visa program fraud and abuse. He has instructed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to vigorously enforce all laws under its jurisdiction and aggressively prosecute violators.

Understanding the Legality of Individual Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts

More employers have recently started adding individual arbitration clauses to their employment contracts. These clauses essentially state that employees who have a legal complaint against their employer cannot file a joint complaint with other employees who have had similar experiences.

Reasonable Non-Compete Agreements and Enforceability in Florida

Florida is known for its very employer-friendly non-compete laws (also known as the restrictive covenant statute), but if you're an employer hoping to restrict workers from going to work for a competitor, you have to be very careful about any non-competes you attempt to enforce. Not only does potential harm to your business count, but so does the potential harm to the worker and to those the worker serves.

Can Off-Duty Bad Conduct Warrant Termination?

The division between personal and work life often becomes blurred, especially if the person in question functions as a very public representative of the company that he or she works for. For most people, though, it is still possible to keep personal lives separate from work. However, this hasn't stopped employers from terminating workers who behave in unsavory ways off the clock. Whether this is appropriate, though, depends on the situation.

New Florida Law Ensures Contractor Status For Drivers Beginning July 1

The dividing line between an employee and a contractor has been a controversial one for people involved in the gig economy, especially rideshare drivers. As of July 1, 2017, drivers in Florida will find their status finally solved. Governor Rick Scott announced on April 24 that he will sign a bill into law that deems rideshare drivers to be contractors.Finally Settled

Whether drivers support the classification as contractors or not, the bill does remove a lot of the uncertainty surrounding their jobs, finally giving them a definite route to take if problems occur. It also lets the drivers know where they stand regarding insurance as the bill requires the companies they work with, known as transportation network companies or TNCs, to carry insurance that protects both the driver and the passenger.Better Definition of Duties and Protections

While classifying the drivers as contractors may sound at first like they are being cut adrift to fend for themselves as freelancers, the law offers several protections. Not only do the drivers and companies have to put in writing that the drivers are contractors, but the companies can't prevent the drivers from working for other TNCs or working in any other field in any other position. The TNC also has to avoid requiring the drivers to be logged into the TNC's networks during specific times. Basically, the drivers just got a lot more freedom to control their own work schedules.The law was badly needed because there was a great deal of confusion over the role of rideshare drivers in the gig economy. This is a fairly new concept in the world of freelancing, and many drivers felt they had to fulfill requirements that were more appropriate for regular employees. In fact, several lawsuits have sprung up contesting treatment of drivers, claiming that the drivers were really regular employees due benefits. The law makes these lawsuits unnecessary, and while that may be bad for those who filed them, it does clear the decks for a fresh start for everyone involved.The law also makes state law paramount in determining driver status. Cities and counties can't pass their own laws that call the drivers employees.Additional New Requirements

After the law takes effect in July, TNCs will have to enforce zero-tolerance policies regarding the use of drugs and alcohol by their drivers, and all drivers must undergo criminal background checks. Riders must get accurate information about fares as well as receive timely receipts. And finally, the law states that TNCs and drivers can't discriminate in hiring or accepting rides.The addition of this law clears up a major point of confusion and makes the roles of the TNCs, drivers, and riders much clearer. It is possible that the law, or a variant of it, could be expanded to cover other gig-economy jobs, though at this time there are no laws pending. Still, Florida employers should keep their eyes open for upcoming changes. 

Requiring Employees to Provide Proof of Eligibility to Work in the U.S. May Result in a Liability

Employers in Florida have three days from the date of hire to verify a new employee's eligibility to legally work in the United States. This verification process falls under rules and guidelines that are provided by the United States immigration and citizenship laws as outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

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