The future of work is here today.
The Supreme Court recently made an epic decision regarding employee's rights. In a 5-4 ruling on May 21, the 3rd circuit found in favor of the employer in the case of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. The decision supports employers' right to force employees to settle their disputes via individual arbitration.
NFL cheerleaders are speaking out against workplace discrimination and gender bias, bringing to light a long-standing issue that has been kept in the dark due to contractual restrictions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.