The HR Specialist: Florida Employment Law

Employees are supposed to get FMLA certifications back to their employers within 15 days. But it’s not a good idea to terminate an employee simply because you didn’t receive the paperwork on time. The FMLA regulations include an out for employees who miss the deadline for reasons beyond their control.

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If you interview employees during the course of investigating alleged misconduct, make sure to take accurate notes. Then, before concluding the interview, have the employee read and sign the notes, attesting that they accurately reflect what was said. Don’t let the employee put off signing.

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Under Title VII, religious institutions that employ workers to engage in religious activities are exempt from complying with anti-discrimination laws under the so-called ministerial exception. But what about minimum wage and overtime? Are ministerial employees entitled to protection under the FLSA?

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Not every pregnancy is the same and not every pregnant woman can perform her job right up until she goes into labor. Because there is so much variability and because women are protected from pregnancy discrimination, it’s crucial to consider each case individually.

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Here’s an important reminder for supervisors: Details count at evaluation time, especially if poor performance will lead to a performance improvement plan or even discharge.

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Courts don’t tolerate religious har­assment, but they won’t punish an employer for occasional lapses in good sense, either. That’s the lesson of the following case.

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“Nopalera” is Spanish for a “patch of prickly cactus.” That’s exactly where the owners of a Gainesville restaurant called La Nopalera found themselves after the DOL discovered they weren’t paying wages to Hispanic employees, making them work for tips alone.

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Not everyone is cut out to be a boss. Some employees just can’t direct others or criticize their work. If a supervisor can’t—or won’t—do his job, termination may be inevitable.

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The Equal Pay Act (EPA) requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for substantially similar work. If you discover a pay disparity between substantially similar male and female employees, fix the problem right away to let women catch up. Don’t use pay policies as an excuse to slow the process.

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Generally, a single racially charged incident won’t create a hostile work environment. But repeated or escalating incidents will. That’s why employers should take immediate, firm action to stop future problems.

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