Jacksonville Labor & Employment Lawyer
Employees have certain rights in the workplace, and our law firm helps enforce those rights by holding employers accountable in and out of the courtroom. If you have been the victim of harassment, unequal pay due to your race or national origin, retaliation, or any other unfair employment decision, you need to talk to one of our Jacksonville labor and employment lawyers. Douglas & Douglas represents client with following claims:
- FMLA Interference or Retaliation
- Whistleblower Claims
- Unpaid Wages
- Sexual Harassment
Douglas & Douglas routinely represents those with claims of discrimination in the workplace based on:
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation
If you believe you have been terminated, demoted, passed up for a promised promotion or suffered any other adverse employment action because of one of the above reasons, contact us immediately for a consult regarding your potential claim.
FMLA Interference or Retaliation
Federal laws protect you if your injury or medical condition prohibits you from performing job duties. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides the right to up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave as a result of a medical condition that makes performance of work duties impossible. If your rights to FMLA have been interfered with OR if you were retaliated against for exercising your FMLA rights, you may have a claim.
In addition to having your job protected, you are also entitled to stay on your current employer-sponsored health insurance group plan at the same rate and with the same benefits for those 12 weeks. The FMLA protects your job and your medical benefit plan until you return back to work, at which point your employer must accept you back into the position that you had when you left without retaliation, demotion, or reprimanding you in any way.
What type of medical conditions warrant family medical leave? According to the Department of Labor, employees are eligible for 12 workweeks of leave within a 12-month period for the following:
- To give birth of a child, as well as to give care to a newborn child within one year of the birth;
- To care for a child who has been adopted or taken out of foster care within one year of placement;
- To give care to a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; and
- Any qualifying exigency if the employee’s child, parent, or spouse is a covered active duty military member.
Furthermore, an employee is eligible to take 26 weeks off from work during a 12-month period to care for their service member spouse, child, parent, or next of kin if that family member has a serious injury or illness.
These are claims when an employee, former employee, or organization member “blows the whistle” and reports misconduct to someone who has the power to take corrective action. Florida Law protects both private and public employees against retaliation for reporting certain illegal activities.
The Federal Whistleblower statute and Florida’s Whistleblower Act statute 112.3187 both protect employees from retaliation when they participate in an investigation into their employer’s potential wrongdoing, when they file a lawsuit against their employer for defrauding the government, and when they notify federal or state agencies about their employer’s potential wrongdoing. The federal government’s foremost tool to protect itself and taxpayers from corporate fraud, environmental crimes, and other types of theft is the system of whistleblowing. As such, employees are given strong protections against employer retaliation when they participate in a whistleblower lawsuit or any type of investigation. If you were fired, demoted, reprimanded, or lost wages or working hours because of your participation in a whistleblower lawsuit, contact a Douglas & Douglas attorney to see if you have a claim.
Employers must follow the Fair Labor and Standards Act. The FLSA requires accountability when setting wages and tracking time of employees. To determine whether you have a claim and may wish to consult with a Douglas & Douglas attorney, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I been required to work more than 40 hours per week without getting paid for the extra time?
- Am I being paid below minimum wage?
A Douglas & Douglas attorney can discuss your situation and determine if you have a claim. There are certain exemptions that may prevent you from having a claim, but there is no harm in meeting with us.
Sexual harassment should not be tolerated in a work environment. For you to have a valid sexual harassment claim, you (the employee or former employee) must show:
- The harassment was unwelcome and was based on or motivated by sex, gender or another protected factor;
- The harassment was sufficiently pervasive or severe such that it affected the terms and conditions of employment;
When determining whether an act qualifies under those factors, courts consider whether the conduct was extreme, whether it happened on a regular basis, whether the conduct was physically threatening, and whether it resulted in physical contact.
Many commonplace actions and comments that go on in a typical workplace are actually classified as sexual harassment, and yet the victim may simply not realize it. An offensive remark about the employee’s sex is sexual harassment. Telling an employee that they will get the promotion if they perform a sexual favor or go out on a date with the manager is sexual harassment. And while teasing and offhand comments are not necessarily forms of sexual harassment, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), anytime the harassment or unwanted behavior/remarks become so pervasive as to create a hostile work environment, that qualifies as sexual harassment. A hostile work environment is classified as a workplace where an employee or employees are unable to perform their jobs to their best ability because of the harassment.
There are many other factors and nuances in the law to consider. Call us and let a Douglas & Douglas attorney evaluate your claim.