The relationship between an employee and their employer has never been one of equal bargaining power. Most employers respect their employees and understand the value of a strong relationship, but others believe their position gives them the right to behave however they see fit. If this is your situation at work, a Morgan & Morgan attorney in Pensacola may be able to help.
Pensacola is home to some of Florida’s most prominent industries, specifically tourism and hospitality. These industries can see significant wage theft, to say nothing of the potential for various forms of discrimination.
Our team of lawyers in Pensacola understands the difficulty of speaking with an employer who doesn’t appreciate the effort and needs of their employees. Our legal team may be able to help you recover lost wages or combat discrimination you might encounter in the workplace. Contact us today to learn more about how one of our attorneys may be able to help.
Fair Pay for Fair Work in Pensacola
Following the Great Depression, the federal, state, and local governments began to regulate the terms of employment to protect the workforce. This regulation has evolved into a variety of areas:
- Minimum wage – Most non-tipped employees are entitled to receive a minimum hourly wage for work. Federal law sets that wage at $7.25/hr. In our state, however, the Florida Minimum Wage Act sets the minimum wage slightly higher at $8.05/hr.
- Overtime – With some exceptions, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employees be paid “time and a half” – 150% of their normal hourly wages – if they work more than 40 hours in a calendar week. This is established under federal law, as the state of Florida has no overtime law. Localities within Florida, however, may enact such ordinances.
- Emergency leave – The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period for events such as the birth of a child, a personal illness or injury, or the illness of a family member. Florida law additionally requires larger employers to allow up to three days unpaid leave for victims of domestic violence.
- Unpaid wages – Sometimes, employers simply don’t pay outgoing employees the wages they are owed. This can be regular salary as well as unused vacation and leave, commissions, bonuses, and other vested rights. Florida law allows employees to sue for these unpaid wages and, if successful, to also have their legal fees paid by the employer.
Workplace Discrimination Can Occur
Most employers are pragmatic enough to hire the best person for the job, without taking into account race, gender, religion, or an employee’s other personal attributes. But discrimination and harassment in the workplace still occurs frequently in Florida, and the rest of the United States.
Some discrimination can be subtle, and often appear inadvertent, but is still harmful. This can include:
- Refusing to hire
- Using unnecessary job qualifications to root out members of minority groups
- Failing to promote
- Refusing to hire a person with disabilities even though they are able to do the job with reasonable accommodation
- Refusing to reasonably accommodate the religious practice or custom of an employee
- Unfairly enforcing disciplinary policies against members of minority groups
- Advertising positions in ways that excludes minority groups
- Refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee who requests it
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Discrimination in the workplace can appear in a variety of ways, and a seasoned Pensacola attorney can help you understand more about your situation.
Realities of a Hostile Work Environment
Even when discrimination or a labor violation hasn’t occurred, there is a legal expectation that your employer will control the workplace environment. This includes policies preventing harassment based on your identity.
For this reason, it is crucial victims of workplace harassment in Florida report the behavior to their supervisors, human resources, or other designated entity in their company immediately. If the employer fails to respond, it may be time to speak to a Pensacola workplace harassment attorney.
Let Us Stand Up With You to Fight in Pensacola
Florida labor and employment violations can be not only cumbersome but debilitating. Financial loss is one thing, but fear, stress, and a loss of self-esteem from repeated harassment or discrimination can also arise. Our Florida employment and labor attorneys at Morgan & Morgan recognize the harm this experience can cause for workers.
Wage theft, discrimination, and a host of other problems can make the workplace unbearable, even as you need to stay in order to pay the bills. Our Pensacola team is ready to fight for you. They will work on your behalf to try and hold your employer accountable for their labor and employment violations. If you think you’ve been a victim, contact us today for a free, no-risk case evaluation to have your claim reviewed.