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Miami Employment Law Blog

3 things that help gender equality at workplaces

Gender inequality is a problem that the most responsible and ethical employers in the United States are trying to overcome. In fact, it's vital for all employers to do everything they can to combat this problem, which -- in many cases -- is difficult to resolve.

Here are three things that every employer can start doing right now to dramatically increase equality among the genders they employ:

  • Don't ask for your employee's prior salary: Asking for an employee's prior salary and basing the new salary off that is a way for your employee to continue with prior gender-unequal pay. When hiring, it's best to simply give the employee a good and fair offer considering the position and the value it brings to your firm.
  • Put your managers through Unconscious Bias Training: There are ways that some managers unconsciously promote a particular position to men instead of women, or unconsciously offer men more jobs, more opportunities and higher salaries. Just telling managers to stop and "treat everyone equal" isn't enough. However, with Unconscious Bias Training, managers can learn to overcome these subconscious tendencies.
  • Do your interview loops offer gender diversity? If only men are performing the job interview, there's a good chance that gender inequality will persist in the hiring process. However, when more women participate as interviewers, more women will be hired to equalize the balance.

3 ways to get out of your non-compete agreement

When you leave your job, you may assume you are free to do as you wish. However, your now former employer may have had you sign a non-compete agreement when you first started working there. But just because the language in your non-compete agreement sounds tough, that does not necessarily mean it is a valid legal document. 

Many of these seemingly intimidating contracts are all bark and no bite. Not all of them are enforceable. Here are some possible ways you may be able to wriggle your way out of your non-compete contract.

What are the overtime pay laws in Florida?

The laws that apply to overtime in Florida go into effect when a worker clocks over 40 hours in a workweek by entitling the worker to an extra hourly pay. For this reason, most workers are excited to work a few extra hours each week -- even if it can be exhausting. The extra boost in income from putting in the additional elbow grease can really add up fast. But what if your boss doesn't want to pay you the overtime money you have a legal right to?

Here are the overtime laws in Florida:

  • Workers who complete more than 40 hours of work in a week will receive their normal pay plus half pay for every hour worked.
  • Salaried workers are also entitled to receive overtime pay. All they have to do is determine their weekly pay and divide by 40 to determine their hourly rate. For every extra hour, they worked in the week over 40, employees should receive an extra half hour's worth of pay.
  • Several types of employees are exempt from overtime pay. Those employed in outside sales, most truck drivers and most railroad workers will be exempt from receiving overtime payments.

3 ways to respond to sexual harassment

No one wants to have to deal with sexual harassment at their Florida workplaces; however, if employees don't deal with it -- and respond to it -- swiftly and immediately, it could fester into a full-blown and job-threatening problem. Here are three excellent ways to respond to sexual harassment, which could serve to put a stop to it quickly and effectively without needing to report the issue to any superiors.

Appeal the self-interests of your abuser

Lee County Sheriff's deputy resigns after harassment accusations

A deputy employed by the Lee County Sheriff's office has resigned after multiple sexual harassment accusations by his female coworkers. At least ten female employees of the sheriff's office have accused the man thus far, saying that the male staff officer groped them, kissed them and talked dirty to them.

The sheriff's office began an internal investigation into the matter following complaints from a female lieutenant. She claimed that the officer kissed her on her lips without her consenting to the action. Nine additional women have since spoken up about the officer's abuses.

Who is exempt from Florida overtime laws?

Florida wage workers slave away at their jobs on a daily basis just to put enough food on their families' tables. This is why, when they work more than 40 hours a week, the right to receive overtime pay can be so beneficial. Working overtime is one way for workers to boost their incomes considerably. It's also a way to ensure that workers receive just compensation for the backbreaking achievement of working more than a 40-hour work week.

That said, certain Florida workers could be surprised by an employer who tries to tell them that they don't have the right to receive overtime because of their employment classification. While it's true that some Florida employees cannot receive overtime pay under Florida overtime laws, this only applies to the following occupations:

8 clauses you might find in an employment contract

Florida employees may have questions about the employment contract they have on file with their employers. This is especially true if a problem or disagreement erupts on the job.

By turning to the contract, most employees can determine where they stand under the law, how they should negotiate the matter to reach agreement with their employers and whether they should pursue a lawsuit if an agreement cannot be made.

Tips for anti-sexual harassment training

Many workplaces hold training sessions on topics such as sexual harassment. Of course, some employers handle this topic better than others do. Because a sexual harassment lawsuit against your business may prove costly, it is often worth your while to be proactive in how you approach training. This tactic can also help you attract a wider base of qualified applicants if you develop a reputation for being a fair and proactive business.

So, here are some general guidelines to help with your anti-sexual harassment training.

5 examples of unlawful employee termination

When a Miami employer chooses to fire or terminate a worker, the employer must carry out the firing in a certain way. Failure to do so may result in an unlawful termination, which would give the employee the right to pursue a lawsuit to recoup his or her financial damages in court.

What follows are five examples of typical wrongful termination situations. Did you lose your job in one of these ways?

  • A termination that violates state or federal anti-discrimination protections, such as a termination because of your age, race, gender, national origin or religious affiliation.
  • A termination in retaliation against an employee's rebuff or complaints regarding sexual harassment, or as a part of sexual harassment.
  • A termination that violates the written or oral agreements under which the worker was hired.
  • A termination that violates state or federal labor laws, such regulations that govern collective bargaining.
  • A termination in retaliation against an employee's complaints or other claims against the company, firm or employer.

What does the EEOC do for American workers?

When a woman or man is victimized by sexual harassment at the workplace, he or she will have the right to appeal to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for assistance in defending his or her civil right to a workplace that is free of such abuse. The EEOC, however, protects workers from a lot more than sexual harassment. It comes to the aid of workers suffering from all manner of injustices including:

  • The enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlaws all forms of employment discrimination based on color, religion, race, sex and national origin.
  • Enforcing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act which makes it unlawful to discriminate against women on the basis of pregnancy or the medical effects of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Defending workers who are 40 years old and up against age-related discrimination in the workplace.
  • Enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which ensures that individuals with disabilities receive reasonable accommodation, fair treatment on the job and are not discriminated against.
  • Ensures that women and men receive equal pay.

The EEOC has obtained just compensation and other remedies on behalf of innumerable Americans who were wronged at their workplaces. However, it's not uncommon for an individual with a viable lawsuit to get rejected by the EEOC because they did not appropriately frame their situation with an understanding of applicable employment laws.

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