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Broward County Employment Law Blog

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.

Workplace discrimination reporting mishandled by Google

Google is one the most successful and largest tech companies in the world. It is a leader in its field and industry, and it should be a leader in the way it treats its workers, but unfortunately, that may not the case. Some employees allege that the company mistreated them after they filed complaints of workplace discrimination and harassment. If this is true, it is unacceptable.

Each person has the right to report any form of discrimination or harassment they experience in a Florida workplace. Just last year, Google faced backlash over the way the company handled this issue, and people are now saying that the company has done no better over the last few months. Some even allege that the company stalled and stymied their careers in response to their reporting. If this is true, this is a form of retaliation. 

Study notes that workplace age discrimination is common

Age discrimination at the workplace is common. Such discrimination is significant in Florida because of the large numbers of elderly residents. It also prevents otherwise qualified workers from performing their jobs. Unfortunately, age discrimination does not always garner the attention of other forms of discrimination.

An Insurance Journal periodical references a study concluding that as many as 20 percent of workers over the age of 40 experience on-the-job age discrimination. Most victims never file a complaint out of fear of retaliation. Many employers also fail to provide training that might prevent this discrimination from occurring.


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