The HR Specialist: Florida Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 30
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The HR Specialist: Florida Employment Law

A retired Cocoa water worker, who lost a federal discrimination suit against the city nine months ago, filed again—this time in Brevard County’s 18th Judicial Circuit Court. The lawsuits center on three incidents in which the worker, who is black, says he was subjected to racist comments and taunted by a hangman’s noose …

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Janitors working in Miami’s Bayside Mall joined with workers from five states to fight the coercive anti-union tactics of General Growth Properties (GGP) and two of its cleaning contractors. The National Labor Relations Board has sought a rare 10(j) injunction—a federal court order reserved for cases of egregious violations of workers’ civil rights—against the companies …

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South Florida has become the epicenter of the transgender civil rights movement following the firing of Largo City Manager Susan Stanton. It was too much for city leaders to take when Stanton transitioned from male to female. She was dismissed despite a good job performance …

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When union-organizing efforts target a business, managers usually sit on the sidelines. But managers may have sympathies with either side, and their actions could cause problems for either the employer or the union. Your best bet is to rely on professional negotiators and labor counsel …

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Florida’s public retirement fund will get rid of nearly $1.3 billion in investments with companies doing business in Iran and Sudan, a move state officials hope will prompt similar actions throughout the country. State Sen. Ted Deutch, who sponsored the law, said the state is “telling every one of these companies that from this day forward we won’t invest another dollar, Florida’s public dollars,” in them …

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Tech Data Corporation, a global IT products provider based in Clearwater, made the list of “2007 Best Places to Work for GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) Equality,” a ranking of employers’ policies toward GLBT employees …

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A waiter who lost his job after saving a woman from a carjacker outside of the 84 Thai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale where he worked won’t have trouble finding a new one …

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When employees are on call, employers obviously want to avoid paying them for that time if they don’t do any actual work. The trick lies in knowing how to design on-call time …

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Employees who claim they were fired illegally and whose jobs are protected by the Civil Service Act can win their lawsuits—if they can prove the Civil Service Board merely rubber-stamped a supervisor’s discriminatory decision. Until now, it was unclear whether that was the case …

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When Michaels, a chain of arts-and-crafts stores headquartered in Irving, TX, transferred manager Daniel Zimmerman into its St. Augustine store, upper management received numerous complaints from staff about his rudeness. Joseph Lewis, a floral designer suing the company for age and gender discrimination and retaliation, said employees began “dropping like flies” after Zimmerman joined the store …

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The U.S. Justice Department recently settled a complaint with Palm Beach County to accommodate a park ranger’s request to be given Sundays off so he could attend church and obey the rules of his religious faith …

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Donna Duffer, former Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau controller, blamed a gambling addiction for her embezzlement of $1.6 million from the bureau. The theft, uncovered last fall, left the bureau’s budget in tatters and cost some staffers their jobs. Duffer stole withholdings from employee paychecks, leaving many employees holding the bag for back tax bills …

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Eduardo Padilla, an information technology manager for the North Broward Hospital District, filed a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit alleging he was laid off because he was Hispanic …

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Florida employers were required to have smoke-free workplaces since the mid-1980s, but the state recently amended the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act to comply with the Florida Health Initiative. The law prohibits smoking in an “enclosed indoor workplace” with the exception of …

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Together, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 govern U.S. immigration policy. IRCA was amended in 1990. With each new law, employers gain new responsibilities. For each new employee hired, U.S. employers must complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The I-9 establishes the employee’s identity and his or her legal work status. Employers can hire only those who are eligible to work legally in this country …

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Good news for supervisors who work in the public sector: Reporting suspected fraud and workers’ compensation abuse won’t lead to losing a defamation case. Nor will commenting on the possibility that someone is facing criminal charges for fraud. That’s true even if the employee suspected of wrongdoing is cleared entirely and the accusations were largely unfounded …

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NASA recently found its accounts short by more than $157,000. Elizabeth Osborne, a 31-year NASA veteran, used her NASA-issued bank card to make more than 436 personal purchases in Tampa area stores between 2001 and 2005 …

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Supervisors can discuss discipline with co-workers if the situation warrants and not fear a defamation lawsuit. As long as the discussion is necessary for a legitimate business reason, such as preventing workplace violence or squelching rampant and erroneous rumors, the employer won’t be liable. Otherwise, mum’s the word …

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If you tell an employee you think it’s time for him or her to leave and offer a severance package as an inducement, you still may have to pay unemployment. That’s true even if the employee signs a statement saying he or she quit voluntarily in order to get the extra money …

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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) case involving FedEx drivers. Employees in three states, including Florida, filed an ADEA suit against FedEx, citing policies designed to “drive out older workers” …

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