Florida News & Analysis

  • ADA accommodations: One call could save you 15 percent on legal fees

    The federal appeals court over Florida has upheld a Tampa judge's decision that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn't require GEICO to allow a Lakeland employee to work from home as an accommodation for her periodic bouts of Ménière's disease. Florida is a service industry state, and technology is making it easier to work from home. This decision illustrates how the courts are dealing with an issue that's becoming prevalent.

  • New technologies create new employee privacy issues

    Unless you work for a company that's very small or very low-tech by nature, chances are, one of your biggest challenges is keeping up with technology. If your competitors are taking advantage of the many new technological advances that promote efficiency and productivity while you're stuck in 1999, your business will struggle to compete.

  • Mandatory flu shots: Can you make employees roll up their sleeves?

    Believe it or not, it's time to think about flu vaccines again! How effective will the shots be this year? Will you and your family get them? Can you require your employees to be vaccinated? Many employers believe that employees should be inoculated to keep the workforce healthy and the office fully staffed during flu season. Before you issue such a mandate, however, a simple question needs to be answered: Can employers lawfully require all employees to be vaccinated against the flu?

  • Agency Action

    DOL launches initiative to strengthen H-2B compliance. The U.S. Department of Labors (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in September announced a nationwide initiative to strengthen compliance with the labor provisions of the H-2B temporary visa program in the landscaping industry. The initiative includes providing compliance assistance tools and information to employers and stakeholders as well as conducting investigations of employers using the program. The WHD announced that last year, its investigations led to more than $105 million in back wages for more than 97,000 workers in industries with a high prevalence of H-2B workers, including the landscaping industry. A key component of the investigations is ensuring that employers recruit U.S. workers before applying for permission to employ temporary nonimmigrant workers. The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrant workers from outside the United States to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the country. The landscaping industry employs more H-2B workers than any other indus

  • Florida's minimum wage increasing to $8.46 on January 1

    The minimum hourly wage in Florida is set to increase from $8.25 to $8.46 on January 1, 2019. The 21-cent increase is based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region for the 12-month period preceding September 1, 2018.

  • Telling an employee to stop working from home

    Q My administrative assistant has been reading e-mails at home after hours, including on weekends. I pay her as an hourly nonexempt employee, and I really don't want her working from home. In any event, reading e-mails shouldn't be taking that much time. Do I have to pay her for the time she spends reading e-mails at home after hours?

    A Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), nonexempt employees must be paid for all work that is "suffered or permitted" by their employer. Put another way, if you, as the employer, know or should know that an employee is working, then the time she spends working is compensable. So, to answer your question, you have to pay your administrative assistant for the time she spends reading e-mails at home after hours, especially since you know she's performing the work.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey shows attitudes about talking politics at work. Job search platform Indeed in September reported results of a survey of 2,000 U.S. employees showing that 20% of those workers felt the workplace wasn't politically censored enough. The research also showed that 54% were comfortable with the current amount of sharing of political beliefs at work. Just 10% of respondents said they believed the workplace needed more political talk. The survey found that 23% of the respondents felt certain groups were being silenced at work. Of those, 60% reported that the source of silencing was statements or actions of peers, and 40% said it came from statements or actions from leadership.

  • Think HR reps can't work outside internal procedures? Think again!

    The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Florida employers) recently issued a decision on a retaliation claim that provides an overview of whether an HR employee is engaging in protected activity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S. Code when she encourages or solicits other employees to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rather than handling their complaints through internal procedures.

  • New FCRA model background check form issued: Did you miss the deadline?

    On September 12, 2018, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the federal agency responsible for oversight of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), issued a new version of the model disclosure form "A Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act." The updated form now includes a notice to consumers about their right to request a security freeze on their credit reports. The CFPB provided employers very little time to begin using the new form, setting a deadline of September 21. Let's take a look at what you should know about the changes.

  • DOL issues FMLA opinion letters after a long break

    For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has issued opinion letters interpreting the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This may be a sign that the Trump administration intends to rely heavily on opinion letters as a form of guidance for employers, a practice that had been discarded by the Obama administration.