Labor law is the area of law which most commonly relates to the legal entitlements of employees and the regulations that must be adhered to by Florida employers. Employment law is a broad term which covers a range of business relationships, work-related scenarios and multiple types of labor disputes. Broward County businesses are required to comply with various state and federal guidelines. Most employees are entitled to specific rights that will usually be related to the industry or field of work that they're in. When there is a dispute between a laborer and an employer, a qualified and experienced Hollywood labor lawyer can help either party protect their legal rights and assets.
David S. Tupler, P.A. has been defending the rights of employers and employees for over 20 years in the Broward County area. Labor laws can be complicated and employee compensation and working rights may vary from circumstance to circumstance. Whether you're trying to retrieve what's owed to you by an employer, protect your working rights, or defend yourself from false allegations made by a laborer, a seasoned local labor law attorney can assist you throughout the process. If you are in Hollywood, Florida or any of the nearby cities, our firm can take a look at your labor dispute case and help you decide what your next move ought to be.
ADHERENCE TO FLORIDA & FEDERAL LABOR LAWS
In the state of Florida, there are multiple labor laws and regulations that must be followed by business owners. The Fair Labor Relations Act, or, FLRA mandates that employers pay minimum wage, properly classify employees as either exempt or nonexempt, pay overtime, and more. Failure to adhere to labor laws in Florida may result in back payment of wages, forced reinstatement of an employee, steep fines, public violations reports, investigations, and more. Here is a list of the current labor laws in the state of Florida:
- Minimum wage: In the state of Florida, the current minimum wage is $8.46. Employers who pay below minimum wage may be subject to investigation and may be forced to pay back wages to laborers who file claims against them. Minimum wage and overtime exemptions exist within certain industries in Florida.
- Overtime: In Florida, there are no laws that govern the payment of overtime to a laborer. However, federal overtime laws apply nationwide and thus, affect Florida businesses and employees. Whenever federal laws are broken, federal agencies may investigate a business. While the state doesn't cover overtime pay, Holywood employees are still entitled to certain overtime rights. Workers must be paid one and a half times their regular hourly wage for each hour over 40 hours worked in a week. In the event that a laborer is not paid the appropriate overtime rate, employers may be subject to wage claims.
- Meals and breaks: Under Florida Statute 450.081(4), employers must grant laborers age 18 and under a meal period lasting at least 30 minutes for every 4 hours of continuous work completed. For employees over the age of 18, Florida laws do not mandate that employers grand meal periods. However, once again, federal rules apply. Meal periods are not mandatory though if they are granted, any meal periods less than 20 minutes must be paid. If the employee is granted a 30 minute meal period, wages are not required to be paid as long as the laborer is free to do what they wish during their meal period.
- Other labor laws: Other labor laws cover vacation leave, sick leave, and holiday leave. These laws are more complex and vary greatly depending on the industry in which they apply. For more information about how these laws are handled in Florida, you can consult your labor attorney or reference the online Employment Law Handbook.
- Liquidated damages: Under some circumstances, liquidated damages may be awarded to a laborer. Liquidated damages must equal the unpaid minimum wages or unpaid overtime wages.
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POSSIBLE DEFENSES FOR EMPLOYERS
Employers have rights as well. In certain situations, jobs are exempt from state and federal labor laws. To find out concretely which jobs are exempt from which labor laws, it's a good idea to contact a seasoned labor law attorney.
FEDERAL AND STATE CASES
Employment-related legal claims may be handled at either a state or federal level. To file a suit in , laborers must bring their claims to the appropriate court office. Some cases are handled by the Federal Department of Labor while others are handled Florida's state court system. Claims against businesses out of state will usually need to be filed federally. State courts handle the bulk of labor law related complaints.
Employees are often required by the courts to exhaust all other avenues before bringing a claim before the court system. Depending on what type of claim an employee has, the administrative process will vary. Only your attorney will be able to tell you for certain how best to handle your unique case. Without an an employment lawyer in Hollywood, it can be very difficult to file claims against large businesses. Claims against smaller businesses will usually require employees to contact various administrative offices before complaints will be reviewed in court.
PROTECTING YOUR RIGHTS IN FLORIDA
Whether you are an employee or an employer, it's important to know what your rights are and how you can protect them. If you believe that labor laws are being broken, here are a few things that you can do.
- As an employer: If you are an employer who is handling a complaint from a laborer, your first line of defense should be to consult an experienced labor law attorney. With cases like this, the sooner you have legal representation, the better. Many employee complaints follow dismissal from a business. In cases like this, there's a good chance that the claims are unfounded or petty. While this may be true, it's still wise to hire a Hollywood labor attorney. Even illegitimate or dishonest claims can have a negative impact on the reputation of your business.
- As an employee: If you are an employee and you feel like your labor rights are being violated, you'll want to first check and see which labor laws apply to your situation. This can be a complex process that may take hours of research. After you're sure that you're within your legal rights, you will want to begin the claims filing process. This involves contacting the proper administrative offices related to your specific field. You'll then have to exhaust all other avenues related to your claims before a state court will take on your case. This can be an aggravating bureaucratic process. It may be a good idea to simply hire a labor law attorney from the get-go.
LABOR LAW ASSISTANCE IN BROWARD COUNTY
If you are in Hollywood, Florida, and are dealing with work-related complaints or claims, it's always easier to contact an experienced attorney early on. This can help you avoid frustration and save you time and even money in the long-run. At David S. Tupler, P.A., we can review your case carefully and help you quickly determine what the best course of action will be. Our legal team will be able to guide you through the litigation process from start to finish and can help you defend your rights. No matter what side of a labor dispute you find yourself on, your rights matter. A reliable Hollywood employment attorney can help you protect them.