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Miami Employment Law Blog

What steps should you take after a sexual harassment problem?

If you've been seriously victimized by sexual harassment, there's no reason why you should continue to put up with the abuse. First of all, the law is on your side, and you can speak up to make the abuse stop. Secondly, the law will protect you from any kind of negative retaliation in response to your bringing attention to the abuse.

There are important steps you can take if you've been victimized by a sexual harasser at your workplace.

AutoNation will not rule out employment for marijuana users

Countless American employees live in fear of losing their jobs as a result of testing positive for marijuana. With numerous states legalizing pot for medical and recreational purposes, the question of whether employers can base hiring and firing off the use of marijuana is certainly called into question. In Florida, though, employers can still fire their employees if they test positive for using marijuana.

AutoNation, a Fort Lauderdale-based car seller, has taken a different stance on the matter. The car seller, which has over 26,000 employees throughout the United States, has officially changed its policy regarding marijuana -- saying that its employees are free to use the substance.

Can workplace bullying create a hostile environment?

You would like to think that you left bullies behind after you graduated from high school, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Some people never grow out of the bullying attitude, and they may take their behaviors to work. You and other employees in Florida may suffer if a bullying co-worker is creating a hostile or unsafe work environment.

Workplace bullying is more prevalent than you might think. According to a recent report by the Workforce Bullying Institute, 19 percent of employees polled said they had experienced bullying at work. Some bullies get physical, but most of the time, adult bullying at work involves verbal or psychological abuse. If you are being bullied at work, you might experience the following scenarios:

  • Your co-workers could gossip or spread untrue rumors about you.
  • Your boss might take his or her frustration out on those in the office by yelling, belittling or making passive-aggressive remarks.
  • Co-workers might sabotage your work to make you look bad.
  • Those you work with might deliberately tell jokes or make comments they know are offensive to you.
  • The bullying could escalate to the point where you feel physically threatened.

Learn all about noncompete agreements

Employers often require their employees to sign noncompete agreements to protect their companies from unfair competition after an employee leaves the company. These noncompete agreements may require an employee to not work in the same industry for a period of months, or even years, after leaving their current employment. Are these agreements fair? And, more importantly, can they be enforced?

Ultimately, noncompete agreements are not intended to leave professionals unable to earn a living. If the noncompete agreement ends up destroying an employee's ability to put food on the table, for example, a Florida court might render it invalid.

3 examples of sexual harassment: Does your case sound like this?

With the #metoo movement, which has unfolded over social media during the last several months, many Florida residents have become more aware of sexual harassment than ever before. What some Florida residents may have realized -- like the many Hollywood celebrities who have come forward -- is that they too have been victimized by sexual harassment.

When keeping an eye out for instances of sexual harassment in your workplace -- particularly when it's directed at you -- be sure to look for the following scenarios:

3 reasons a non-compete agreement may not apply

Non-compete agreements are often a standard contract that employers require employees to agree to. Generally, it stipulates that an employee cannot gain information from their employer and then use the information in service of another business. This protects a company’s trade secrets and other proprietary information from potential exploitation by another business in the same sector.

There are a number of reasons, however, why you might need to nullify such an agreement. Perhaps your non-compete prohibits you from establishing your own company or seeking employment elsewhere. The following are three of the most common reasons why this contract may be invalid.

Proposed law could require lawmakers to pay for sexual harassment

If someone were to tell you that United States taxpayers have paid for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sexual harassment settlements, the idea would seem ridiculous. The fact is, it's true.

The current law allows for U.S. federal tax dollars to cover the sexual harassment settlements relating to the sexual misconduct of U.S. congresspersons and senators. However, a newly proposed piece of legislation could change this. The new law would require the lawmakers themselves to pay for sexual harassment settlements out of their own pocketbooks.

10 common provisions in employment contracts

Every employment contract will be different, but there are certain common provisions that you'll see again and again. Employees and employers alike should familiarize themselves with the following provisions and what they mean.

Confidentiality agreement: These clauses prevent employees from sharing company trade secrets and other confidential information and intellectual property.

What is the legal definition of sex discrimination?

Sex discrimination refers to the unequal treatment of workers on the basis of their sex. It is widely known that women often have to endure unequal pay for doing the same level of work as their male counterparts. However, what isn't widely known is that women who endure this kind of unequal treatment may be able to pursue a discrimination lawsuit.

Discrimination on the basis of an employee's sex is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This civil rights law protects women and men from any unequal and unfair action against them on the job. For example, an employer cannot pass up a female job applicant in favor of a male applicant on the basis of sex alone. The same goes for the issuance of raises and other employment benefits.

Does your employer owe you overtime pay?

If you work an hour, you should get paid for an hour. If you work forty hours, you should get paid for 40 hours. And if you work more than 40 hours, you should receive overtime pay. Nevertheless, some Florida workers do not receive the wages that their employers owe them. This results in numerous lawsuits every year related to hourly wage laws.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to enforcing wage and overtime laws is the fact that most Florida workers do not know what their legal rights are. Take overtime laws for example. If a Florida employee works for more than 40 hours in one week, the worker must receive his normal wages plus an extra half-wage for every hour worked. However, a lot of employers try to pay their workers less, and some workers never discover that they've been robbed of their pay.

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