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Miami Employment Law Blog

People may have biases, even if they deny them

Discrimination in the workplace often happens because one person holds a deep bias against another person. A supervisor believes that African American workers are not as productive as Caucasian workers, for instance, and so he discriminates against the African American workers when hiring new employees or assigning jobs to them. This is just one example of many potential biases people could hold.

What gets tricky is that people are not always obvious and honest about the way that they feel. They may deny that these biases exist. In truth, they may not even realize that they do. But researchers who studied it found that these biases could very well exist anyway, even if people who hold them appear to be fair and well-balanced from the outside. It's something that researchers had been considering for a long time.

Should you say something about offensive remarks?

You're at work when someone makes an offensive sexual comment about you. They walk away and you're left sitting at your desk, staring at the computer screen, unable to believe it just happened.

Over the next week, it becomes common. You can't tell if they think that the comments are charming or funny or if they're actually trying to insult you. Regardless, it's very offensive and creates a toxic work environment. Should you say anything?

Does freedom of speech keep you from getting fired?

You get fired, and your boss tells you it was because of something you said at work. While you are a good employee in other regards -- you do your actual job very well -- they do not like what you had to say and they don't want you in the workplace with the other employees.

You understand that some people may have been offended by what you said. Maybe it was inflammatory in nature, and you knew that at the time. But you also know that you have a right to freedom of speech, granted to you by the First Amendment. Doesn't that mean you are protected? Isn't it illegal for them to fire you based on what you said?

Qui tam law incentivizes otherwise reluctant whistleblowers

Perhaps you work in a doctor’s office. It is a large practice with a large billing department.

You are certain there is a scheme afoot to defraud Medicare. You would like to report this to someone, but you do not want to get in trouble and lose your job. What should you do?

Too much work, not enough time

When you go to work, do you feel like you have too much to do and not nearly enough time to get it all done? Do you think that the workload you have been given is unreasonable, or does it stress you out that you will never realistically get everything done?

You're not alone. Many people struggle with these issues in a society that puts such a premium on production.

Macho culture and sexual harassment

First and foremost, anyone can be targeted by sexual harassment, regardless of their gender, age, race or any other factor. It's problematic to stereotype groups and paint them as victims or perpetrators in all cases, as that overlooks many instances in which the roles are reversed.

That said, it is no secret that women experience more sexual harassment than men. In many cases, it can actually push them right out of certain career paths.

Can you get fired for talking about pay?

You want to know how much a co-worker makes, and you come right out and ask them. They tell you, but they warn you to keep it quiet because the company has a policy saying you can never discuss such things with your co-workers. If you get caught, you'll get fired.

This strikes you as rather problematic on a number of levels. For one thing, why are they keeping it a secret? What are they trying to hide? It makes you question their motivation.

Are you facing workplace discrimination because of your cancer?

A cancer diagnosis can turn a person's world upside down. However, many people can and do continue to work while they're battling the disease. Often, work can help provide a sense of normalcy and something to focus on besides their condition. Most people need to continue working to help deal with medical bills.

How much your cancer impacts your work depends on what you do for a living as well as your course of treatment. You may need some time off for chemotherapy, for example, and if you have surgery. That's why it's often necessary to inform your employer about your diagnosis and to be prepared to tell them what scheduling and other accommodations you may need.

Do you deserve a warning before getting fired?

You make a mistake at work. It's definitely your fault, and a customer does not get their product on time because of you. While you feel bad about it, you definitely do not expect to get fired.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what happens. You're floored. They tell you that you'll be done at the end of the week and that's it. You have to clean out your desk.

What the new Florida minimum wage means for employees

A minimum wage is a vital tool for both workers and businesses. As an employee, you rely on the minimum wage requirements to ensure you receive enough compensation. The minimum wage often changes frequently. 

As of January 1, 2019, the hourly minimum wage in Florida is now $8.46, in comparison to $8.25. Here is an analysis of this new law and what to do if your employer does not pay you the correct amount. 

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