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Broward County Employment Law Blog

Potential bill would eliminate workplace discrimination over hair

How a person's hair looks has no bearing on one's ability to do a job and perform the duties of employment adequately. However, Florida employers can still prohibit certain types of hairstyles in the workplace. A newly proposed law could put an end to that, eliminating workplace discrimination against people who wear their hair in certain ways. 

The prohibition of certain hairstyles is often considered race-oriented discrimination. The legislation would allow people to wear their natural hair, twists, braids and dreadlocks without prohibition from the employer. The senator who proposed this bill said that employees should be able to wear their hair as they choose and that workplaces should be respectful and open to the choices of others.

Steps to take if experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace

When a Florida employee steps into the workplace, that individual has the right to be able to work and meet the requirements of the job without fear of experiencing an inappropriate situation. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Sexual harassment still happens in various types of workplaces, and many employees are unsure of what to do next.

There are state and federal laws that protect an employee's right to speak up and fight back if experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace. This includes filing a lawsuit against the employer and other parties believed responsible. If a worker does experience harassment it's helpful to keep a log of what happened, when it took place and as many details as possible about the incident.

Sexual harassment in the fast food world

McDonald's restaurants are virtually everywhere in Florida and across the globe, and most people are probably familiar with the brand and the type of food found at its locations. Because of the brand's popularity, many people may also be aware of how sexual harassment affected the company at its highest levels of operations. Just this week, the CEO of the company was ousted due to an improper consensual relationship with a subordinate. 

News of the CEO's departure comes after a few years of a successful turnaround effort at the fast-food giant. Through various efforts, the company was able to improve stock prices and maintain its place in the hyper competitive world of quick food service. Despite this good news for franchisees and investors, the company would not keep him in his leadership position, even though the sexual relationship was between two consenting adults

Are you being discriminated against at work?

Workplace discrimination is illegal, but it happens in offices, hospitals, factories and schools every day. Being mistreated at work can be a daunting experience. Victims of workplace discrimination may feel vulnerable, afraid, angry or resentful. If you have been subject to discrimination at work, you know it can have a terrible effect on well-being.

As an employee, you have rights that need to be respected. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal workplace discrimination laws and investigating violation complaints. All employees have the right to file an EEOC complaint.

Unpaid overtime a serious employment law concern

When a Florida worker clocks in at work, he or she has the right to expect fair pay for hours on the job. This is a reasonable assumption whether a person is at work for four hours or is on the clock for 16 hours. However, after a certain number of hours, an employee has the right to expect overtime pay. Failure of employers to pay rightful wages is a serious employment law issue.

Employees from another state took action after their employer's refusal to pay overtime wages. One worker asked his boss for additional hours, and his employer told him that he could work shifts at other buildings also managed by the same company. When that individual showed up for his second shift of the day, he was made to sign in all over again, even though he was working on a continual day.

Medical professionals often face sexual harassment at work

Medical professionals, particularly females, often experience untoward treatment from both patients and co-workers while they are at work. Sometimes, this treatment is sexual harassment, and Florida victims of this type of behavior often feel unsure of what they can do about it. Many women doctors, nurses and medical workers say they've experienced unwanted verbal advances or even physical contact from patients and others while they are on shift.

The statistics about women in the medical field are troubling. For example, medical students are 220% more likely to experience sexual harassment during their work and training than nonmedical or nonscience students. Around one in four women training to be doctors will experience sexual advances and other types of harassment before they even become practicing physicians. 

Protection against workplace discrimination for LGBT workers?

It is illegal for employers to discriminate or harass workers on the basis of certain factors, such as gender, ethnic origin or religious beliefs. These protections do not extend to LGBT employees, some of whom may still face the threat of losing their jobs as a result of their sexual orientation or preference. However, this could change soon in Florida as many people are speaking out about the need to protect these individuals from workplace discrimination.

Lawmakers have tried to pass laws that prohibit discrimination against LGBT workers, but these attempts in the past have not been successful. However, there are more lawmakers from both sides of the aisle that think things could be different next time this issue comes up for a vote. In addition to both Republican and Democrat support for these protections, major employers in the state, including Disney, have endorsed the potential move.

UPS pays $2.25 million to avoid lawsuit by pregnant workers

United Parcel Service has agreed to settle a dispute accusing the company of discriminating against pregnant workers. The $2.25 million settlement will go to pregnant employees who were not properly compensated.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the deal after investigating a complaint that the world’s largest package delivery company was violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which amended the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Florida women gather to support ratifying Equal Rights Amendment

With the amount of laws that protect gender discrimination in the workplace, you might think that protection of gender equality is part of the U.S. Constitution. But if you are a woman, there is no ratified constitutional amendment giving you equal rights under the law.

Florida advocate groups recently gathered on Women's Equality Day, August 26, to promote Florida finally ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment. Although the U.S. Congress passed the amendment in 1972, it still has not received ratification from the required minimum of 38 states.

Research shows men are hit harder by age discrimination

While women are more likely to face harassment in the workplace, a new study shows men are more likely to face discrimination when it comes to their careers after they turn 40. The study shows more men believe their age has kept them from finding work or advancing in their current job.

Half of the men surveyed said they had witnessed age discrimination in the workplace compared to 38% of the women who took part in insurer Hiscox’s 2019 Ageism in the Workplace Study. The study's findings are significant as by 2024, workers 55 and older will represent a quarter of the nation’s workforce.

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