Types of Employment Lawsuits Our Attorneys Handle
The attorneys in our Fort Lauderdale office have experience handling the following types of cases:
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Workplace discrimination
- Wage and hour violations, including failure to pay overtime
- Wrongful termination
- Pension, 401(k), and medical benefits
- Veterans’ rights in the workplace
- Defamation of character
Family Medical Leave Act
The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal labor law that requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in certain circumstances. In general, the employee may be eligible to take leave under the FMLA for one of the following reasons:
- Pregnancy and care for a newborn
- The adoption of a child
- Placement of a foster child
- Care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
- Your own serious health condition
- For certain situations arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status as a member of the National Guard, Reserves, or Regular Armed Forces
Additionally, you may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a covered veteran with a serious injury or illness.
How Our Fort Lauderdale Employment Attorneys Can Help
If you have been improperly denied FMLA leave or your employer has retaliated against you for requesting FMLA benefits, our attorneys can help you obtain the leave to which you are entitled. Your attorney will deal directly with your employer or their attorneys to protect the rights granted to you under the FMLA.
Determine Whether You Qualify: The employment attorneys in our Fort Lauderdale office can help determine whether you qualify for FMLA leave. In general, you must be employed at a company with at least 50 employees for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the year prior to the date of your leave. If you are taking FMLA leave because of your own or a family member’s serious health condition, the Department of Labor provides the following descriptions of medical situations that may qualify for leave:
- Medical conditions that require an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility
- Medical conditions that require ongoing medical treatment and render you or a family member unable to attend work or school for more than three days
In addition, you may also qualify for leave if you or a family member suffers from a chronic medical condition that causes occasional, sporadic periods of incapacitation and requires treatment by a healthcare provider at least once a year.
Make Sure You Receive Benefits and Are Reinstated: Your employer must continue to provide health insurance benefits during leave. When an employee returns to work, he or she must have his or her position prior to the FMLA leave reinstated, or an equivalent job with the same salary and benefits. An employee who takes FMLA leave cannot lose his or her right to any employment benefits accrued prior to taking the leave.
Take Action to Stop Retaliation: It is a violation of the FMLA for an employer to interfere with or refuse an employee’s rights to take a leave of absence. Furthermore, the FMLA protects you from retaliation. Your employer cannot terminate, discriminate against, or retaliate against you in any way for exercising your legal rights. If your employer retaliates against you for requesting leave, the attorneys in our Fort Lauderdale office may be able to help you file a lawsuit against your employer.
By filing an employment lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover the following types of damages:
- Lost wages
- Reinstatement of your job
- A court order requiring your employer to restore any promotions or benefits that you were denied because of your request for FMLA leave
Pension and Employee Benefits Attorneys
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) protects the rights of employees who participate in pension, 401(k), medical, and other types of employee-benefit plans. Under ERISA, your employer has a fiduciary duty to act in your best interest in administering and managing your benefit plan. Under this obligation, your employer must prudently manage the assets contained in these plans and cannot arbitrarily deny any legitimate claims for benefits.
401(k) Plan Attorneys: Participants in 401(k) plans must be provided with a broad array of reasonable and diverse investment options. In addition, the mutual funds offered by a 401(k) plan cannot charge excessively high asset management and administrative fees. If you believe that the investment options offered in your company’s 401(k) plan are inappropriate or charge unreasonably high fees, our employment attorneys may be able to file an ERISA lawsuit on your behalf.
Defined Benefit Plan Attorneys: If you believe that your employer made an error in calculating your pension benefit or denied you a benefit to which you were lawfully entitled, you may be able to obtain legal relief through an ERISA lawsuit.
Employee and Retiree Health Plan Lawsuits: The attorneys in our Fort Lauderdale office handle cases involving companies that reduce or eliminate medical benefits for retirees or illegally deny health and welfare benefits.
If you believe you that have been wrongfully denied benefits, our Fort Lauderdale attorneys can help. Your attorney will review all plan documents and benefit statements to determine if you have a valid claim for benefits. Your attorney can help you navigate your company’s internal appeal process, which generally must be followed before you can file an ERISA lawsuit. If your company’s plan administrator continues to deny your claim after the appeals process is complete, your attorney may file a lawsuit seeking the benefits to which you are lawfully entitled.
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) is a law that intends to protect the employment rights of current and former members of the Armed Forces. It demands that employers do not discriminate against current or former military personnel with regard to hiring, firing, reemployment, promotion or benefits. USERRA also protects disabled veterans by requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate a veteran’s disability.
USERRA also requires that employers must reinstate health plan coverage to the returning service member and his or her dependents upon the service member’s reemployment. Employers are generally prohibited from imposing a waiting period or exclusion on the reemployed service member.
If you are returning to work after serving in the military and your employer is refusing to rehire you or has reduced your hours, compensation or benefits, our Fort Lauderdale employment attorneys may be able to help. Your attorney may first contact your employer to resolve the matter without going to court. If these measures prove unsuccessful, your attorney may file a USERRA lawsuit to protect your workplace rights.
Defamation of Character
If you believe that your current or former employer has made false statements about you that have caused you harm, the attorneys in our Fort Lauderdale office may be able to help you recover compensation through a defamation of character lawsuit. Your attorney may interview witnesses who heard or read the defamatory statement and investigate whether the company has a history of making defamatory statements against its former employees.
Defamation of character often occurs when an employer makes false statements about a terminated employee that damages the employee’s reputation and makes it difficult for him or her to find another job. You may have grounds to file a defamation of character lawsuit if you can prove that the statements made by your employer are false and that it is the type of statement that could damage your reputation and your ability to obtain a new job.
There are two types of defamation: slander and libel. Slander is defamatory speech. Libel is a defamatory statement made in writing. Both slander and libel can give rise to a defamation of character lawsuit if the false statement has caused you harm, such as preventing you from getting a job for which you are otherwise qualified.
If you believe that your workplace rights have been violated, please complete our case review form for a free, no-obligation evaluation from our experienced Fort Lauderdale employment attorneys.