Imagine working in for many years in a job you love for a boss that you respect. While things were great in the beginning, you started noticing that things were not quite what they seemed. After looking closely at the situation, you realize that your employer has not been paying you the wages he promised in your employment contact. When taken as just a few paychecks, the difference in negligible, but after several years of this, the amount is significant.
It's an exciting time when you get your first job, but there are some things you need to know. While you might want to take whatever wages you're offered, there are actually laws that determine how much you must be paid and when. These laws make sure you aren't taken advantage of, especially since you're under the age of 18.
Company owners in Florida and their HR managers must ensure that compliance with employment law is practiced in all aspects. Violations of employee rights can lead to lawsuits that can be costly. One of the areas that may need special attention is the advertising of vacancies. Workers who feel a job posting is discriminatory retain the right to pursue legal action.
Employers nationwide, including in Florida, are not permitted to retaliate against workers who reported violations of their rights as employees. An employee of a county jail in another state recently filed a second lawsuit against his employers, alleging retaliation after the first lawsuit. In 2012 the man filed a whistleblower complaint about religion discrimination, and a settlement with the county was reached in 2014. Part of the settlement agreement stated that the county would provide prison staff with obligatory anti-discrimination training.
Recently, former news anchor Gretchen Carlson received a $20 million settlement with Fox News along with an apology; moreover, Fox CEO, Roger Ailes, the man who caused her dismissal, resigned. The result of this employment law dispute is far from typical. One commentator noted that governments and private corporations nationwide, including in Florida, seldom punish managers who mistreat employees. Retaliation has apparently overtaken race discrimination as the most prevalent claim filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Whether in Florida or another state, all employees have the right to work in an environment free from discrimination. A former employee of a television station in another state recently filed a lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit alleges wrongful termination and discrimination based partly on her problem with alcoholism. She claims that victims of alcoholism are protected under state and federal law. Further allegations include a substantial list of violations of the labor code, including privacy violations.
Bullying employees seems to be an increasing occurrence at workplaces in Florida and other states. Although employee rights are there to protect workers against all types of employment law violations, statistics suggest that more than a third of American workers are victims of workplace bullying. Sadly, not all understand the devious ways of bullies, and victims are often seen as unable to cope with common workplace pressure.
Female employees in Florida are sometimes hesitant to start families for fear of reprisal by their employers. Wrongful termination lawsuits following the dismissal of pregnant employees are not at all uncommon. Such a lawsuit was recently filed in another state by a woman alleging her employment was terminated while she was on maternity leave.
Florida workers whose rights as employees are being violated may find that the alleged violators will do everything in their power to prevent a legal claim from going to court. A former deputy fire chief filed a complaint against the city that employed him, alleging wrongful termination. The city then reportedly tried to have the case thrown out of court, but its attempts were dismissed by a judge.
Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees who report unethical or illegal acts or unsafe workplace environments. Florida has laws in place to protect workers against retaliation. However, whistleblower claims are frequently filed by workers who exercised their rights only to find themselves without jobs.