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Many employment laws exist on the federal and state levels that aim to ensure workers are compensated fairly and are free from unlawful discrimination and harassment. Unfortunately, too many employers in Florida violate these laws and workers suffer as a result. If your employer has violated an employment law, you have legal rights to recover for any financial losses or other pains you may have suffered. Contact our Employment Law Attorneys today.

Taking on an employer in a legal claim can be intimidating, Fortunately, the experienced employment attorneys at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are here to help anyone who believes their employment rights have been violated. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has the financial resources to take on the biggest of corporations and we only represent employees. We will evaluate your situation, advise you of your options, and stand up for your rights throughout the legal process. Please call our office at (727) 451-6900 for a free consultation if you believe you may have a case against your employer.

Can I Sue My Employer Or Past Employer For Unpaid Wages?

Employees have the right to earn a minimum wage for their work under both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)[1] and the Florida Minimum Wage Act.[2] Likewise, most workers are owed overtime pay for any hours they work exceeding 40 hours in a single work week.

Florida law requires that individuals are compensated at least $8.25 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. In fact, this is a relatively new increase, since Florida minimum wage recently increased from is last high of $8.10 an hour.

All hours worked must be compensated, including time prepping or cleaning up a workstation, completing required preparation, and any other time that an employee is working. For example, if your employer requires that you arrive at work by 7:45am, but you don’t officially clock-in until 8:00am, it’s unlawful if they don’t pay you for that extra 15 minutes that you are required to be present.

Employment Law Attorneys

In addition to paying a minimum wage, FLSA mandates that employers must compensate non-exempt employees one and a half times their regular hourly wage for all time they work over 40 hours in a week. For more information on this topic, check out our article "Uncovering the Confusion of Unpaid Overtime".

Florida Overtime Violations – Why Am I Not Being Paid My Overtime?

Our mission is to fight for workers who were improperly denied overtime, unfairly required to work off-the-clock or underpaid for the hours worked. We will pursue such claims all the way through trial if necessary.

There are several reasons why you may not receive proper overtime pay. You may not be receiving overtime because:

  • Your employer wrongfully classifies you as a manager or other type of exempt employee; as specific employees are exempt from overtime.
  • Your employer is not aware of overtime requirements or misinterprets the law; or
  • Your employer purposefully ignores overtime requirements to save money.

Are Independent Contractors Eligible For Overtime Pay?

A “true” independent contractor in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act is not eligible for overtime under state or federal law. However, keep in mind that employers often improperly classify employees as independent contractors. In fact, the State of Florida has promulgated a test to determine whether a worker shall be considered an employee of independent contractor. The factors in determining a workers’ status include:

  • The amount of control an employer has over the details of the job performed by the worker
  • The skill required for the specific job
  • The location of where the work is conducted. Is the work performed under the supervision of an employer or unsupervised by someone who would be considered a specialist
  • Does the employer control and direct the performance and details of the job done by the worker?
  • Do the parties believe they are creating an employee – employer relationship?
  • The length of time the worker is employed

What if I signed a contract stating I am an independent contractor?

Many sleazy employers attempt to circumvent the law and save money by having an employee execute a contract stating the individual is an independent contractor. Employers resort to such conduct to avoid costs associated with benefits and taxes. If you believe that your employee has improperly classified your position to be a contractor, call us today for a free case evaluation.

No matter what the reason may be for a wage or overtime violation, employees in Florida have the legal right to get paid proper wages for all the time they work.

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We are Experienced Florida Overtime Lawyers!

At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we assist employees in obtaining the full amount they are owed by bringing a legal complaint against their employer or by taking other necessary legal action to ensure a Florida employee receives a proper hourly wage or overtime compensation. It is unlawful in Florida for an employer to retaliate against an employee for a wage or hour complaint, so you should not hesitate to discuss your possible case if you believe you are not being fully and properly paid for your work.

sexual harrasment lawyer in Clearwater Florida - Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

In addition to wage and hour provisions, both federal and state laws protect employees from unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Clearwater overtime and wage dispute attorneys - Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

One of the most common types of unlawful workplace harassment is based on an individual’s sex. The following are some examples of behavior that may constitute unlawful sexual harassment:

  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Offensive or obscene gestures or jokes
  • Inappropriate physical contact
  • Comments regarding sexual activity or sexual preference
  • Sharing inappropriate images of a sexual nature
  • Comments on appearance, body, or clothing
  • Questioning a person on sexual behavior or history
  • Making sex a condition for employment decisions

When Do I Need to Hire an Employment Lawyer?

Not only can the above behaviors be disturbing, but they often cause victims to feel helpless as if they have no choice but to tolerate the harassment. If you are continually placed in an uncomfortable position based on unwanted sexual advances, requests, or otherwise inappropriate behavior, call our office for a free consultation

How to Handle a Sexual Harassment Claim

The first recommended step in pursuing a Florida sexual harassment claim is to talk with the individual wrongdoer. As uncomfortable and awkward as this may sound, it is the single best way to potentially get the unwanted actions to stop let alone the perfect way to set up a case. Confronting the wrongdoer will place this individual on notice concerning their behavior.

If a talk fails to stop the unwanted actions, the next step is to place your employer on notice by filing an internal grievance or complaint. This will enable your employer to investigate the issue and the parties involved. Further, the goal of this letter is to allow your employer the opportunity to resolve this matter.

In a sexual harassment lawsuit, we must prove the company knew of the harassment and failed to remedy such. If we can demonstrate the employer neglected to fix the problem or ignored it altogether, a case for punitive damages (meant to punish the wrongdoer) can potentially be made. Check with your HR department or consult your employee handbook about how to properly register the complaint.

Taking these steps will make your case much stronger. However, there is no such thing as a perfect case and we offer a free consultation to evaluate the potential and discuss any prospective sexual harassment claim. You never have to simply accept unlawful sexual harassment at work. Contact us to discuss your legal rights today.

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What to Do About Unlawful Workplace Discrimination

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Florida Civil Rights Act, and additional employment laws protect employees from unlawful discriminatory actions based on the following factors:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex, gender, or pregnancy
  • Religion
  • National origin
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Physical or mental disability (real or perceived)
  • Genetic information

Employers cannot base employment decisions on any of these factors, including hiring, promotions/demotions, job transfers, discipline, or termination. Employers are also required to make reasonable accommodations for employees based on needs related to religious beliefs or disabilities. Such accommodations may include allowing an employee to wear a headscarf despite a dress code prohibiting headwear or providing technology that assists with hearing or vision impairments.

Military Service

In addition to the above types of unlawful discrimination, employers are also prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee for military service under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

LGBT Discrimination

It is important to note that there are no federal laws protecting employees from LGBT discrimination. However, there are many counties and cities that have local laws and ordinances prohibiting discrimination.

Anyone who believes they have suffered unlawful discrimination, retaliation, or wrongful termination at work should contact the experienced employment attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA as soon as possible to help you stand up for your legal rights.

How Do Discrimination Laws Protect Employees?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits an employer with fifteen (15) or more employees from acts of discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, or national origin. In accordance with Title VII, it is a violation of federal law for an employer to take any of the following punitive actions against an employee based on race, religion, gender, or national origin:

  • Terminate employment
  • Punish, discipline or demote
  • Deny promotion
  • Failing to provide training

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the federal agency that is charged with enforcing the various laws that protect employees from discrimination. Victims of employment discrimination will usually file a claim with them that they will investigate to determine if discrimination did in fact take place. The EEOC also provides a variety of resources to discriminated employees to help them seek justice, interpret employment discrimination law, assist in settlement negotiation between employees and employers, and provide “right to sue” letters allowing an employee to take legal action.

Keep in mind that discrimination based on gender includes discriminatory actions due to pregnancy. Not only are employees barred from taking these actions against a pregnant employee, but federal law also prohibits an employer from asking questions of a pregnant applicant they would not ask of an individual who is not pregnant. Employers are also prohibited from discriminating against employees who may become pregnant.

Further, employers cannot require an employee to give notice of a pregnancy unless it serves a legitimate business purpose. For more information concerning pregnancy discrimination, contact us.

*The above information was written and reviewed by either Attorney Matthew Dolman or another injury lawyer at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA which has a combined 90 plus years of experience practicing Florida personal injury law. Matthew Dolman himself has been practicing personal injury law in Clearwater and St. Petersburg for the last fifteen (15) years. The information provided comes from extensive research and years of experience trying legal cases in courtrooms throughout Florida.

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Contact an experienced Florida employment lawyer for a free consultation today.

If you believe that your employer has treated you unlawfully or unfairly in any way, you should never hesitate to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to discuss your situation. Employees should never have to deal with wage and hour violations, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or any other type of wrongful actions in the workplace. Victims of such actions have legal recourse under employment laws to receive compensation for their suffering.

Whether you want to file a claim with the state, file a lawsuit, or simply want to discuss your situation, the attorneys at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are here to help. Our legal team has extensive experience in all areas of employment law and are committed to holding employers accountable for violations of these laws. Consultations are free and we will not collect a fee unless you are able to recover in your case, so please call our office in Clearwater at (727) 451-6900 or fill out our contact form for help today.

[1] https://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/
[2] https://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0448/Sections/0448.110.html
[3] https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm
[4] https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm

Call our office today at (727) 451-6900 or contact us online to set up your free appointment.

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