Did you know that the state of Florida only gives employees 300 days from the date of discrimination/ workers right violations to file a case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against their employer and only 365 days to file with the Florida Commission for Human Rights? An employee must file with these organizations before filing discrimination lawsuits. Those working for small companies (under 15 employees) may also have to file under a county or city ordinance with even shorter deadlines. In some cases, employees don’t know their rights and are perplexed about what to do when they finally realize that they are being treated differently than similarly situated co-workers and in other cases, they don’t know what would be considered an employee law/ workers’ right violation. It is important for you, as an employee, to know your rights and common employee law violations that take place in the workplace so you can know what is and is not acceptable behavior from your employer. A tough boss is one thing, an unscrupulous boss is quite another.
It is important to note that independent contractors are exempt from many of the protections discussed below. For further guidance on the rights of independent contractors, it is best recommended to consult with an employment attorney.
The Department of Labor enforces over 180 labor laws, with some of the most common cases pertaining to Wages and Hours, Workplace Safety and Health, Workers’ Compensation and Employee Protection. A quick review of these laws may help guide you if you feel you are experiencing any form of employment law discrimination.
Wages and Hours
The Fair Labor Standards Act dictates policies pertaining to fair hourly wages and overtime pay. Effective January 1, 2021, the minimum wage in Florida is $8.65 per hour, with tipped employees having a minimum wage of $5.63 per hour plus tips. Overtime payments are required to be a rate not less than one and a half times the regular pay rate after an employee exceeds working a 40-hour workweek. Hours worked are counted as the time an employee is required to be on duty, at the employer’s premises, or at a designated workplace. It is the responsibility of an employer to keep employee time and pay records to confirm these standards are being met.
Workplace Safety and Health
Workplace safety is closely monitored and regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers who are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act must comply with OSHA regulations and safety and health standards. The main purpose of this act is to make sure that employees know they are in a workplace free from serious hazards. In the event that an employee feels their workplace is in violation of this act, he or she can call 1-800-321- OSHA (6742) or contact a local OSHA office to file a complaint.
Workplace injuries can wreak havoc on your life. Florida has a Division of Workers’ Compensation to ensure an employee is compensated for losses and return back to work as soon as humanly possible. Compensation is meant to include fees for temporary disability (requiring over 21 days of leave time), permanent impairment, paralysis and in some cases, even death for incidences that occur while an employee is on the job. The issue with workers’ comp is that it is only designed to reimburse a portion of lost wages. It is recommended to visit an attorney to confirm that the portion of funds being given to the employee is a fair amount for expenses incurred
Employee protection covers employee protections for whistleblowers who come forward to complain about violations by their employers. These employees face issues such as job loss and reduced wages. For those who feel they are currently experiencing workplace harassment as result of reporting workplace violations, it is imperative to review the Department of Labor’s website and/ or consult an attorney to learn your rights.
Have you or a loved one experienced a violation of your rights in the workplace? Do you think you can benefit from a no obligation consultation with an employment law attorney? Call Dsouza and Strachan law group today and let us review the case. If we think you have a viable case, we would love to represent you. If we think you do not have a viable case, we will let you know your options. Choose to deal with attorneys who are upfront and honest. Call us today or visit our website: https://www.dsouzalegalgroup.com/ . A free consultation awaits you.