Florida News & Analysis

  • Court warns about self-serving testimony in FLSA retaliation claims

    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently released an order on a motion for partial dismissal of a retaliation claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that provides an overview of whether an employee's self-serving testimony should be considered direct evidence in discrimination or retaliation cases. The case is a reminder that the FLSA, like many federal statutes, contains an antiretaliation provision, and such claims are increasingly being brought by employees.

  • Orlando court reviews requirements for preserving videotapes and other evidence

    In today's digital age, most Florida businesses use, or have access to, video cameras that record everything that happens in certain areas inside and outside the premises. Often, images recorded on surveillance videos will support an employer's decision to reprimand or discharge an employee for misconduct. For example, an employee's theft of merchandise or equipment may be captured on video. Accidents involving employees, customers, or visitors to the premises may also be recorded. When something like that happens, is a Florida employer required to preserve videotapes and other evidence from the date of the incident? An August decision by a federal judge in Orlando reviews some of the requirements that apply in such cases.

  • Under the radar: Florida prohibits discrimination based on HIV and AIDS status

    Previously, we have highlighted some lesser-known Florida employment laws, including the law that requires employers to provide leave to individuals who are dealing with domestic violence. Another lesser-known law, Chapter 760.50, Florida Statutes, explicitly prohibits discrimination against employees based on their AIDS, AIDS- related complex, and HIV status. This article provides an overview of the law and Florida employers' obligations under it.

  • Planning and education are key to successful HSA

    Over the past decade, the percentage of employers offering a health savings account (HSA) to their employees has grown dramatically. HSAs are a form of "consumer-driven health plan," a category of employee benefit that strives to place more responsibility on employees to be better consumers of health care. In short, employees pay 100 percent of the deductible under a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). In return, they are given the opportunity to contribute to an HSA, which offers substantial tax benefits.

  • The end of the Kennedy era

    For the past 20 years, Anthony Kennedy has decided the most important issues in America. An early protégé of Justice Antonin Scalia, Kennedy was appointed by Ronald Reagan as a conservative choice for the U.S. Supreme Court. At first, he voted with the conservative bloc more than 90 percent of the time and remained solidly conservative on criminal justice issues throughout his judicial tenure.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB launches ADR pilot program. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced in July that it is launching a new pilot program to enhance the use of its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program. The pilot program is intended to increase participation opportunities for parties in the ADR program and help facilitate mutually satisfactory settlements. Under the new program, the NLRB's Office of the Executive Secretary will proactively engage parties with cases pending before the Board to determine whether their cases are appropriate for inclusion in the ADR program. Parties also may contact the Office of the Executive Secretary and request that their case be placed in the ADR program. There are no fees or expenses for using the program.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey finds more than half of workers open to new job opportunities. Recruitment firms Accounting Principals and Ajilon released results of a new survey in July exploring job search trends among more than 1,000 U.S. full-time workers in sales, office, and management/professional occupations. The survey found that 25.7% of respondents are actively seeking new job opportunities and that 55.5% are passively open to new job opportunities. The survey found that salary is the most important factor respondents consider when deciding to accept a job offer. The survey also found that 43.2% of respondents would be enticed to leave their company if another one offered a better salary or pay. That rate is highest among respondents ages 18 to 25, while respondents age 55 and older are least likely to leave for better pay.

  • As the NLRA turns: Big labor-law changes afoot

    The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to all Florida employers) recently released an opinion that happens to provide a pretty good overview of the big changes afoot with respect to how the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is interpreted. The changes are being driven by rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court as well as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The 11th Circuit's opinion provides a valuable update for both unionized and nonunionized private-sector workforces, which different sections of the NLRA cover in full force.

  • Company freed from liability in harassment case based on prompt complaint response

    On June 25, 2018, the 11th Circuit held that a district court did not err in rejecting a jury verdict in favor of an employee on her sexual harassment claim and granting judgment in the employer's favor. After all, the employer took prompt remedial action by immediately instructing the alleged harasser to stay away from the employee, investigating the complaint, and then firing the accused six weeks later when an independent investigation found that he committed the harassment. This article explains the court's reasoning about why firing the harasser after a six-week investigation was deemed "prompt" enough to prevent employer liability.

  • 'Fair-share' fee ruling brings new day for public employers, employees

    With proponents of a U.S. Supreme Court decision against the collection of "fair-share" fees claiming a victory for First Amendment rights and critics calling the ruling an example of the Court siding with billionaires against workers, employers are adjusting to a major change in the world of agency shops in the public sector.