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Labor & Employment Lawyers
Unfortunately, some Deland employers think they can get away scot-free when breaking employment laws and short-changing hard-working employees. However, justice can prevail when employees know how to assert their legal rights. Earlier in 2022, Deland company Southern Equipment Rental had to pay 122k in back wages after a Department of Labor investigation revealed the company’s violation of overtime laws.
Morgan & Morgan has Florida workers’ backs. John Morgan was an instrumental force in the battle for a fair minimum wage in the state. Fighting for workers’ rights is a cause close to our hearts. Our labor and employment lawyers in Deland are not afraid to hold unethical companies and employers accountable and fight for what you deserve.
If you are experiencing wage theft, discrimination, harassment, or any other unlawful adverse employment action, let us know. You do not have to stand for mistreatment at work and could qualify for compensation. Contact us now to discover your options in a free case review.
Cases Labor & Employment Lawyers Handle
Our labor attorneys can represent workers in various employment-related claims, including:
- Sexual harassment
- Wrongful termination
- Wage theft
- Family and medical leave denial
Employees deserve to be treated with respect and dignity by their employers. Unlawful labor practices, such as wage theft, discrimination, and sexual harassment, are illegal. Let us look at the cases employment attorneys handle in more detail:
Wage and Hour Violations
Several federal and Florida wage and hour laws protect employees from exploitation. Common wage and hour violations include:
Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Violations
Deland employers must pay their non-tipped employees the current minimum wage of $10 an hour and compensate tipped workers with $6.98 per hour. Most workers are entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times their regular pay for hours worked over 40 in a week.
If your employer fails to compensate you according to Florida’s minimum wage and overtime laws, you could have legal recourse and file a claim for back pay.
Misclassifying Employees as Exempt From Overtime Pay
Certain employees do not qualify for overtime pay. Such “exempt” positions generally include:
- Sales professionals
- IT professionals
To save on overtime pay, employers in Deland may misclassify their workers as exempt. Failing to pay workers overtime pay is illegal wage theft.
In Deland, employers are not legally required to offer work breaks. If they do, they must pay staff for short breaks of 20 minutes or less. However, an employer does not have to compensate staff for longer meal breaks of half an hour or more.
Illegal Paycheck Deductions
Some paycheck deductions, such as taxes, court garnishments, insurance premiums, and pension deductions, can be legal. However, deducting money for an employer’s expenses, such as uniforms or work equipment, is generally unlawful.
Medical and Family Leave Violations
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees who need time off for medical or family emergencies. Employees may generally take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in the following circumstances:
- A significant medical condition or temporary disability
- The birth or adoption of a new child
- Caring for a severely ill close family member
Under the FMLA’s provisions, workers returning after taking medical and family leave are entitled to their former position or an equivalent post with the same pay and seniority.
Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors
Some Deland companies incorrectly misclassify their workers as independent contractors to save on tax deductions, employee benefits, and overtime pay. Misclassifying employees is unlawful, and those affected can seek damages by filing a claim.
Discrimination in the workplace refers to any adverse employment action based on an employee’s disability, age, sex, color, race, or another protected characteristic. The scenarios of workplace discrimination can be almost limitless, with some examples including:
- Screening out certain groups during the recruitment process
- Lower pay and fewer benefits for female employees
- Excluding older workers from training opportunities or promotions
- Failing to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees
- Refusing to employ a person due to their national origin or skin color
- Demoting or firing pregnant workers
Experiencing discrimination in the workplace can be highly upsetting and have detrimental effects on a worker’s career and home life. If this is happening to you, you do not have to stand for it. Morgan & Morgan can be here for you and help assert your legal rights if you experience illegal discrimination.
Fired employees may feel that their dismissal was in some way wrongful. However, not every worker who gets fired is experiencing a wrongful termination. To have a case against an employer, they must have fired you for an illegal reason, such as:
- Violation of anti-discrimination laws
- Breach of your employment contract
Since Florida is an at-will state, proving that your employer wrongfully terminated you can be tricky. Workers who believe they were fired for an illegal reason should promptly seek legal advice from an experienced labor attorney.
Under federal and state law, it is unlawful for a Deland employer to retaliate against an employee. However, in 2021, a whopping 56 percent of all charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) were based on retaliation. Therefore, retaliation complaints are the most frequently filed claims. Retaliation includes harassing, firing, or demoting employees for exercising their employment rights, such as:
- Filing a discrimination claim or helping with an investigation of such a claim
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Joining or forming a union
- Participating in union activities
Proving a retaliation claim can be challenging and will require presenting evidence. If you have been affected by unlawful employer retaliation, our employment attorneys can offer legal advice and help. We can determine your next best steps and move forward with a claim on your behalf.
Morgan & Morgan
How Can a Deland Labor and Employment Lawyer Help Me?
Most employees are unsure about their rights and what to do next when they experience mistreatment or wage theft at their workplace. An experienced labor attorney can help you understand your rights and walk you through your options. We could help you file a charge with the Department of Labor or the EEOC and take your employer to court if necessary. A Morgan & Morgan labor lawyer can:
- Explain your legal rights and options
- File a claim with the relevant state or federal agency
- Gather and present evidence to prove your employment claim
- Negotiate a settlement with your employer
- Calculate your damages such as missing overtime pay and benefits
- File a lawsuit against your employer and fight for what you deserve
What Are the Most Frequent Types of Discrimination in the Workplace?
According to figures from the EEOC, the charges filed in 2020 include (in descending order of frequency):
- National Origin
- Equal Pay
As previously stated, retaliation was by far the most common type of charge filed, making up almost 56 percent of all charges in 2020.
I Am Unfairly Treated at Work in Deland; Could I Sue My Employer?
Whether you can sue your employer depends on whether the unfair treatment you experience amounts to a violation of labor regulations and laws. Unfair treatment as such, although upsetting, does not usually qualify for a lawsuit. However, if your employer broke the law, you could pursue compensation. Examples of unlawful work practices include:
- Discrimination based on age, gender, or another protected characteristic
- Violating an hour or wage law
- Retaliating against employees
- Breaching employment contract terms
- Wrongful termination
The best way to determine whether you have a case is to get in touch with an employment lawyer and discuss your circumstances.
What Qualifies as a Hostile Work Environment?
Federal and state laws protect workers’ rights to a safe work environment free from harassment. While one offensive joke or comment from an employer does not necessarily qualify for a hostile work environment claim, discriminatory harassment is illegal.
Therefore, if you experience harassment based on a protected class such as age, color, race, sex, disability, and others, you could have a claim against your employer. Examples of actions that fuel a hostile work environment can include:
- Racial slurs
- Consistent aggression and yelling at employees
- Sexual jokes
- Disparaging comments about a worker’s age
- Threatening an employee with physical violence
- Making negative statements about a worker’s sex
- Requesting sexual favors in return for better pay or a promotion
My Employer Retaliated Against Me for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim; What Are My Options?
If an employer in Deland terminates you for filing a workers’ comp claim or assisting another employee with a claim, they are illegally retaliating against you. Moreover, you could file a lawsuit for wrongful termination and receive compensation. Since proving wrongful termination can be challenging in at-will states such as Florida, consider getting one of our labor and employment lawyers in Deland on your side.
We could help you sue your employer and seek compensation such as back pay, emotional distress, and other damages.
How Do I Know Whether My Deland Employer Misclassified Me?
If an employer determines your work hours, tells you what to do, and pays you a regular hourly or weekly salary, you are most likely an employee and not an independent contractor. On the other hand, contractors set their own hours and generally work on a project-by-project basis without instruction.
Since employers do not pay Social Security and unemployment insurance taxes for contractors, they can save a considerable amount on labor costs. Therefore, unethical employers are defrauding the United States government and taking money out of workers’ pockets at the same time. An employee classified as an independent contractor misses out on several potential benefits and protections, such as workers’ compensation insurance and unemployment payments. Moreover, misclassified workers generally pay higher taxes than employees.
Our employment lawyers want to help if you are an independent contractor who should be classified as an employee. You may qualify for compensation.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Labor and Employment Lawsuit?
How much time you have available to seek damages will depend on the type of case you are bringing. In most cases involving discrimination or harassment, victims must file a charge or civil rights complaint with the EEOC within 180 days of the discriminatory act. The EEOC, after investigation, issues claimants with a “Notice of Right to Sue,” which permits them to file a lawsuit against their employer.
However, claims for wage theft, wrongful dismissal, or breach of employment contract could be subject to varying statutes of limitations and deadlines. Therefore, it is crucial to promptly speak to a labor lawyer to ensure you are not running out of time. Recovering damages is virtually impossible once the statute of limitations has passed for your type of lawsuit.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire Morgan & Morgan?
We take employment cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win and you recover a settlement. We want mistreated workers to have the best shot at getting what they deserve, regardless of their financial means.
Morgan & Morgan Fights Hard for Deland Workers
Discrimination, harassment, and wage theft are issues that can severely impact your career and bank balance. However, getting bullied at work or being paid less than you deserve can also destroy your self-confidence and negatively affect your family relationships and home life.
Morgan & Morgan believes that no employee in this country should put up with mistreatment and exploitation. Our labor and employment lawyers in Deland are here to hold unscrupulous employers to account for their actions and help you fight for what you deserve.
If you experienced discrimination, wage theft, or another violation of your civil and employment rights, we could help you recover damages from the responsible party. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine your next best steps.