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Miami Employment Law Blog

What is pregnancy discrimination?

Learning you're pregnant and going to have a baby is one of the most beautiful pieces of information that any woman can receive. Your boss, however, might feel differently. Every year, countless soon-to-be mothers discover they're with child, and then find out they're without a job.

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) -- which is part of Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- employers are prohibited to discriminate against workers who are pregnant, giving birth or have a pregnancy or birth related medical condition. Employers must treat pregnant women in the same way as they would treat other job applicants of similar qualifications.

Are you the victim of sexual harassment? Here's what you can do

Florida employees are sexually harassed every day. It's easy to fall into the victim mindset, and feel like there's nothing you can do, but if you're being sexually harassed at work, you need to know that you're the one in the power seat.

First, you have the right to speak up about the harassment. If someone is directing offensive behavior at you, it's time to tell the party who is harassing you to stop. This is an empowering move that you have the legal right to make; and often, the sexual harassment will stop then and there.

Constructive discharge and employment discrimination

Employees may face various forms of illegal discrimination, with firing ranking among the harshest actions employers may take. However, as more employers become aware of the illegality and potential legal consequences of discriminatory actions, they may not take such an overt step.

Just because your employer did not fire you does not mean they did nothing illegal, however. Both Florida and federal laws recognize the concept of constructive discrimination, which describes a situation where the employer created such an impossibly hostile environment that you had no choice but to quit. In such a case, even though technically you made the choice to leave, the employee drove you to this choice.

Ridesharing company Uber fires 20 over sexual harassment scandal

Uber has taken disciplinary action by terminating 20 employees after a company-wide investigation into sexual harassment claims. The company looked into 215 claims of sexual harassment. One hundred of the claims did not result in action, but 57 of the claims continue to be reviewed more closely.

The investigated complaints involved allegations relating to sexual harassment, bullying, unprofessional behavior and discrimination. Uber claims that every reported instance received due attention. If the claims were corroborated, Uber acted swiftly to ameliorate the issue. Although the names of the terminated employees were not released by the company, we know that they numbered 20 in total.

Were you harassed because you're a veteran?

Federal law in the United States strives to honor the uniqueness of all individuals and prevent people from being harassed and/or discriminated against due to their external appearances, or due to other factors over which the person has no control.

The law offers protected status to different people under different categories, such as gender, national origin, race, religion and other factors. One of these protected statuses is the status of being a U.S. veteran. By virtue of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, veterans cannot be harassed on the job.

How to respond to workplace sexual harassment

If a Florida coworker makes an inappropriate comment, you might freeze up and be unable to respond. Part of the reason you freeze is that you might not have considered beforehand what the proper response should be. Read the following ways to respond to sexual harassment now, and you'll be well prepared should you encounter such a situation:

-- Responding to a one-time event: Responding quickly to a one-time sexual harassment event is often enough to quickly put the behavior to a stop. If someone makes an inappropriate comment or sends a harassing email, tell the person it made you feel uncomfortable, and not to say that to you again. Save the emails and texts for future reference should you need to make a complaint of repeat behavior.

When can't I receive unemployment compensation benefits?

If you get laid off from your job, you can usually seek unemployment benefits to help you financially while you're looking for new work. In some circumstances, however, you might not qualify to receive unemployment benefits.

Below is a list of the usual disqualifiers that prevent an employee from getting this vital financial assistance in such a desperate time of need. If you were fired for any of the following reasons, you might not be able to get benefits:

What is lending discrimination?

During the history of the Law Offices of Gary A. Costales, we have seen virtually every single type of discrimination under the sun. However, even our experienced legal team can be surprised by the extent to which some Florida residents are victimized by discrimination in this day and age. In an effort to educate Florida residents further about discrimination, readers of this blog may want to be aware of lending discrimination. This pernicious form of discrimination is perpetrated by Florida financial institutions, and happens more frequently than you might care to believe.

Lending discrimination occurs when a person goes to a bank and asks for a loan, but he or she is denied that loan due to his or her protected status. Perhaps you were denied a loan because you're a minority, not because of your economic status. Alternatively, perhaps you were denied a loan because you have a disability, and not because you are unemployed.

What constitutes workplace retaliation?

As a member of the Florida workforce, you are an at-will employee, which essentially means your employer can terminate you at any time and for almost any reason. There are several key exceptions, however, and they involve your protected rights.

For example, you have a right to “blow the whistle” about wrongdoing at your place of employment, and your employer and coworkers may not harass or otherwise retaliate against you for making the decision to do so. Workplace retaliation can take on many forms.

Are you being paid the overtime you deserve?

Some Miami employers take the position that their employees are lucky to have a job, and therefore they should have to put up with not getting appropriately paid for their work. On the other side of the equation, there are some workers who think they deserve more than their fair share. Regardless which side of this debate you happen to be on, the Law Offices of Gary A. Costales is here to help.

Have you been working more than 40 hours a week? Were you paid time and a half for any hours that exceeded 40? Interestingly, numerous Florida employees have been working for years and not getting paid the overtime they deserve. Once an experienced wage and hour law attorney takes a look at their information, however, it becomes clear that the employee has a viable claim to seek payment for those unpaid wages from their employer.

Law Offices of Gary A. Costales, P.A.
Free Phone consultation
| Hablamos español

Gary A. Costales, P.A.
1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1440
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 877-389-7395
Fax: 305-375-9511
Map and Directions

1200 N. Federal Hwy. Suite 200
Boca Raton, FL 33432
Phone: 877-389-7395
Fax: 305-375-9511
Map and Directions

Law Offices of Gary A. Costales, P.A.