Employment law in Miami involves issues relating to discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, employment contracts, family leave act, wage and hour, and whistleblower claims. The laws in Miami and the federal government make it illegal for an employer treat an employee unfairly or harass him or her because of his or her gender, age (over 40), religion, national origin, race, military status, citizenship status, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or any other protected class. It is also illegal to sexually harass an employee, terminate an employee because of his or her status as a member of a protected class, being a whistleblower, or taking advantage of the family leave act, or misclassify an employee as exempt or an independent contractor to avoid paying appropriate wages and taxes to the IRS. For over 25 years, the Derek Smith Law Group has helped employees whose rights have been violated by their employers or in the workplace to receive the compensation they deserve.
What Are Employment Law Categories in Miami?
Employment law in Miami encompasses a wide array of issues that can occur within the workplace. When employees are unfairly treated, wrongfully terminated, retaliated against, improperly categorized, denied time off for family illness, or exposed as whistleblowers, the employer is breaking the law. Employment law categories include:
1. Discrimination. Discrimination in Miami is when an employer/CEO, supervisor or manager, fellow employee, or non-employee, like a customer or vendor, unfairly treats or harasses an employee or job applicant because he or she is over 40, disabled, of a certain race, region, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin, is pregnant, maintains a certain military or citizenship status, or a member of a protected class. This is illegal behavior and should never be tolerated in the workplace.
2. Wrongful Termination. Wrongful termination in Miami occurs when an employee is terminated or fired from his or her position based on his or her status as a member of a protected class or as a method of retaliation for reporting wrongdoing in the workplace.
3. Retaliation. Retaliation occurs when an employer wishes to “get back” at an employee for legal behavior. For instance, firing a whistleblower would be retaliation. However, retaliation can also occur when an employee reports an issue to HR and then is fired, demoted, experiences a reduction of pay, or even has a lawsuit filed against him to teach him a lesson. Even calling ICE on an employee is a form of retaliation is you are doing so to get back at him.
4. Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment in Miami is unwanted sexual contact or advances in the workplace. Anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment, and more importantly, anyone in the workplace can be a perpetrator of sexual harassment, such as a CEO, manager, supervisor, fellow employee, or even a non-employment like a customer or a vendor. Sexual harassment can also include sexism, sexist jokes, and sexually targeted or gender-specific name-calling.
5. Wage and Hour. Wage and hour claims relating to employee pay and classifications. Issues, such as classifying an employee as exempt when they are clearly a non-exempt employee, resulting in nonpayment of overtime, classifying an employee as an independent contractor to avoid paying benefits and taxes, paying an employee under the table to deny benefits and tax payments, and cutting an employee’s hours on paper which result in less pay and no need to pay overtime are illegal. Employees falling victim to these and other wage and hour violations are entitled to compensation.
6. Family Leave Act. The Family Leave Act is the federal act that ensures employees can take unpaid leave from work for up to 12 weeks in one full year to care for a family member or bond with a newborn or adopted child. The Miami-Dade County Ordinance also allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a family member and includes grandparents in the list of qualified family members.
7. Whistleblower. Whistleblower claims allow for employees of government pr private companies to report illegal activity of the employer to a person who can act of the report. Under the Florida Whistleblower Act, whistleblowers cannot be fired or otherwise retaliated against for bringing this information forward. The idea is to encourage people who see something to say something without the fear of losing his job or experiencing any type of retaliation.
8. Employment Contract and Noncompete Clauses. Employment contracts and noncompete clauses can be difficult to navigate. Many times, there is information within the contract or clause that is not enforceable. Yet, the average employee may not be aware of that. It can make a difference int eh outcome of ending your employment or even during the course of your employment if you have an experienced employment attorney n your side to help argue for proper justice.
Employment law claims in Miami can come from any one of the eight categories listed above. Employment law encompasses the everyday activities at the workplace as well as horrific acts that are allowed to occur between employees or an employee and a supervisor, CEO, or even a vendor or customer.
Some examples of employment law claims include:
• Wrongful termination for filing a claim of harassment with HR
• Retaliation by calling ICE on an employee
• Denying an employee a promotion because he or she is over the age of 40
• Denying a job applicant a job because she is pregnant
• Forcing an employee over 40 to retire
• Refusing to allow an employee to work on a project because he has a heavy foreign accent
• Making jokes about an employee’s spouse because she is from a different country of origin
• Refusing to allow a Jewish employee off to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
• Refusing to allow a disabled employee to take appropriate breaks to administer shots and other medication for his diabetes and high blood pressure
• Continually asking an employee for a date even when she refused the advances
• Making sexist jokes
• Spreading rumors about an employee who filed a complaint against you with HR
• Refusing to make changes to the public accommodations to allow for a wheelchair that is needed for a disabled employee
• Refusing to allow an employee to work on a project because of his or her race
• Making jokes about color in the workplace
• Firing a whistleblower
• Firing an employee who is out on Family Medical Leave
These are just some of the many examples of employment law cases that can occur in Miami.
Miami courts work to try to help victims of employment law issues to receive appropriate compensation. Some of the remedies available through the courts include:
- Reinstatement of employment and benefits
- Reimbursement for benefit premiums
- Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
- Back pay
- Future pay
- Review and revamping of policy and procedures
- Attorney’s fees
- Removal or reassignment of employee or supervisor committing employment law violations
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Punitive damages
A place of employment should be free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. No employee or job applicant should have to tolerate unfair treatment or harassment for any reason in the workplace. If you are the victim of employment law violations, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group in Miami can help. Contact us today at (305) 946-1884 for a free consultation today. We do not collect any money until you are paid.