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Fort Lauderdale Employment Law Blog

Safety and security director fired after predictions come true

A man who was fired from his position as the director of safety and security at a Mercy hospital in the wake of some employees being injured by patients -- and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services invoking the "immediate jeopardy rule" -- has filed a lawsuit against the hospital for wrongful termination.

The main claim the man makes is that he warned the hospital about some of the dangerous security policies that were in place. These problems could endanger the employees at the hospital, he warned. And soon after these warnings, they became reality.

Vice places 2 executives on leave after sexual harassment claims

Vice Media, which was founded in 2011 to much fanfare and has been a lightning rod company in recent months, recently placed two high-ranking employees on leave after sexual harassment claims were levied against them. In addition, the work atmosphere at Vice has come under scrutiny for being a "boys club" and that it was particularly harsh to women.

The two employees that were placed on leave were Andrew Creighton and Mike Germano, the president and chief digital officer, respectively. These are two incredibly powerful positions, and for these two men to be accused of sexual harassment usually means that their behavior trickles down to the rest of the workplace. It normalizes the despicable behavior.

Employees that are discriminated against have legal recourse

When a group of people works together towards a common goal, there are bound to be moments of elation -- and moments where the members of the group are at odds. This is just inherent to any group dynamic, and being able to work through these tough times is essential to a successful project.

However, when these difficult moments exhibit rash, discriminatory behavior that steps into the boundaries of illegal treatment, then it is imperative that the employees that are being victimized by this discrimination consult with an attorney to discuss their case -- and possibly pursue an employment discrimination lawsuit.

Discrimination in the workplace based on beauty

There are numerous types of discrimination that take place in the workplace every single day. Most of this discrimination centers around a person's gender, race, sexual orientation or national origin. However, there is another type of discrimination that is becoming increasingly prevalent: harassment based on beauty. 

Time Magazine ran an article detailing how beautiful women often face discrimination in the hiring process based solely on their looks. This can apply to individuals who others perceive as beautiful or ugly. Many people wonder if this type of discrimination is unlawful. It is certainly harmful to one's self-esteem, but discrimination based on beauty does not necessarily have any protections under the law. When in doubt, people who should consult with an attorney if they believe they were victims of workplace discrimination.

Who is covered by the Family Medical Leave Act?

In our last post, we talked about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and how it helps employees. Today, we want to continue the theme of looking at basic, but important, laws that protect employees and grant them rights. So let's talk about the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal law that protects employees that are covered by it. In order to qualify as a covered employee, you must either work for a state, federal, or local government agency, or work for a private entity that engages in or affects interstate commerce. This means that most people are eligible under the FMLA.

What is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act?

As we have talked about numerous times on this blog, every employee has rights. Even if they are an "at-will" employee, the individual has rights that protect them from predatory, discriminatory, or otherwise illegal activity on the part of the employer. Along these lines, today we want to talk about the Fair Labor Standards Act, an important law that governs how employees need to be treated.

One of the critical points featured in the Fair Labor Standards Act is that any covered and nonexempt employees that work more than 40 hours in a work week must be paid time and a half for the work done beyond the 40-hour mark. It does not, however, guarantee extra pay for weekend or night work (unless that work exceeds the 40-hour mark).

Denied third break, no overtime pay leads to Amazon lawsuit

Amazon is facing another lawsuit that alleges wage and hour violations after a worker claimed that his employers at the Sacramento shipping center scheduled workers for 10 hour shifts without paying them overtime and without offering a third break for rest. According to the lawsuit, Amazon is responsible for lost wages and compensation given that they don't offer their workers just compensation for the time they were working.

It will be interesting to see where the lawsuit goes from here. If might be granted class action status and, if so, there could be hundreds or possibly thousands of workers that could join in on the lawsuit. 

Former prosecutor settles wrongful termination lawsuit with DA

While the following story doesn't originate from Fort Lauderdale or Florida, it does involve a wrongful termination lawsuit and some shady circumstances that led to a prosecutor losing his job. The case stems from circumstances that go back seven years in the state of Massachusetts.

Back in 2010, Timothy J. Cruz was running a re-election campaign for his district attorney position. At the time, the prosecutor in question for this story did not contribute to Cruz's campaign. He was fired in 2012 just months before he would have reached a date that would have locked in his 20-year pension plan. The prosecutor filed a lawsuit four years ago against Cruz, alleging that he fired him for not contributing to the campaign and to rob him of the chance of reaching that "vesting" date.

Factors that are used to discriminate against employees

One of the most upsetting and frustrating things about our world is that even as we progress technologically and grow personally and intellectually, there are still far too many cases where workers are discriminated against. Some people simply use factors that are irrelevant to job performance to gate their employment community and their company, and it's despicable. 

There are so many things that co-workers or companies may focus on to discriminate against an employee or groups of employees:

Sexual harassment: Quid pro quo and hostile work environment

Sexual harassment continues to make headlines as more victims speak out about their experiences of sexual misconduct in the workplace. The world is beginning to see that sexual harassment occurs across all industries. It is important to be well-versed on what sexual harassment looks like so that you can combat it if it happens to you.

You may be aware of the terms "quid pro quo" and "hostile work environment," but what do those actually mean? Take a look below to learn about the differences between these types of sexual harassment at work.