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Employment Law Information Center

At Delegal Law Offices, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida, we provide highly specialized legal services to employees with employment law concerns. We represent clients in a wide variety of employment-related matters including severance agreements, professional licensing, non-compete clauses, public employee litigation, and others.

Mr. Delegal is a Labor and Employment Specialist certified by the Florida Bar. Mr. Delegal is also the only attorney in Florida who has received double certification in both labor and employment law and in state and federal administrative practice.

The following information is intended to provide you with a general overview of employment law for employees in the State of Florida. If you have further questions you would like to discuss, please contact us at our Jacksonville offices today to schedule a consultation. We charge a $500 attorney evaluation fee to meet with prospective new clients.

Employment Related Information

Garlands-Digest.com provides employment law professionals with weekly updates on new employment discrimination law cases from the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal courts of appeal.

Introlaw.com provides articles of an introductory nature on employment discrimination law.

Employment Law – An Overview

Employment law covers the relationships between employers and their employees, as well as their potential employees and former employees. Both federal and state laws control various aspects of the employer/employee relationship, and each side’s rights and obligations. Because of the complexity of the employment relationship, this area of law involves issues as diverse as discrimination claims and record-keeping, taxation and workplace safety.

Employment relationships can be based on a contract, or they can be “at-will.” If the employment relationship is based on a valid contract entered into by the employer and the employee, the terms of that contract will govern the relationship. By contrast, an at-will employment arrangement can be terminated at any time, with or without reason, by either the employer (as long as the reason does not constitute illegal discrimination) or the employee.

With all these variations to consider, it’s clear that employment law is a very complex area. If you have an employment law concern, it makes sense to involve an experienced employment law attorney who can guide you through your case.

Federal Regulations on Employment Relationships

Many federal laws apply to employment nationwide. Some laws apply to employers only over a certain size, while others have different restrictions. The following is a quick summary of the major federal employment laws.

Title VII

  • Applies only to employers with 15 or more employees.
  • Prohibits employers from discriminating in the hiring process based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

  • Defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
  • Prohibits discrimination against a person with a disability.
  • Provides that if an individual with a disability can perform essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation, that person cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their disability.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act

  • Prevents employers from giving preferential treatment to younger workers to the exclusion of older workers when it comes to benefits such as health insurance.
  • Only applies to workers 40 years of age and older and to workplaces with 20 or more employees.
  • Does not prevent an employer from favoring older employees over younger employees.

Fair Labor Standards Act

  • Provides regulation as to the duration of work days and breaks an employer must provide.
  • Governs applicable salary and overtime requirements set out by the federal government.

Family and Medical Leave Act

  • Provides that employers must allow employees to take up to a 12-week leave of absence for qualified medical purposes.
  • Stipulates that to qualify for the leave, the employee must have worked for the employer for 12 months and for 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the leave.
  • Preserves qualified employees’ positions for the duration of the leave.

Employee Rights in the Workplace

All employees have basic rights in the workplace. Those rights include privacy, fair compensation, benefits, and freedom from discrimination. In addition to federal law, each state has enacted laws to protect the rights of its workers. A job applicant also has certain rights even prior to being hired as an employee. Those rights include the right to be free from discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin, or religion during the hiring process.

In most states, employees have a right to privacy in the workplace. This right to privacy includes one’s personal possessions including handbags or briefcases, storage lockers accessible only by employee, and private mail addressed only to employee. Employees may also have a right to privacy in their telephone conversations or voicemail messages. However, employees have very little privacy or right to privacy in their e-mail messages and Internet usage conducted while using the employer’s computer system.

There are certain pieces of information that an employer may not seek out concerning a potential applicant or an employee. An employer may not conduct a credit or background check of an employee or a prospective employee unless the employer notifies the employee or applicant in writing that it intends to do so and receives permission to do so.

In addition, an employer may not require an employee or a prospective employee to submit to a lie-detector test. There are very narrow exceptions to this rule if the employee has been involved in an incident which damages employer or the employee is being hired to drive an armored car or to work for a security company, with controlled substances, or in national security.

Conclusion

Employees have a variety of rights in the workplace, both through federal and state law. However, employers also have rights and protections available to them under the law. It is important that both employers and employees are aware of their legal rights and the duties they may owe to each other. If you are an employer who has questions about proper procedure or you are an employee and you feel your rights have been violated, contact an experienced employment law attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

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