In Florida, an at-will employee is one whose employment has no specified term and who may be terminated at the will of either party, with or without cause and with or without notice. However, an employer is not permitted to terminate an employee in violation of a state or federal statute, such as: retaliation, discrimination, or whistle blowing.Read More
The Foundation of Anti-Discrimination Laws Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their inclusion in a protected class. This landmark legislation is the foundation for anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws in the workplace. Title VII generally applies to businesses and organizations that employ 15 or more workers, labor unions, employment agencies and local, state and federal governments. Protected Classes Since the law was enacted, more than 50 years ago, amendments have expanded the reach of the Civil Rights Act to additional protected classes. For example, genetic information is a new class that has recently been added to the protected classes of race, gender, pregnancy, national origin, religion, disability and age. An employer who has a connection to a protected class, such as through marriage or membership in an organization, may also be protected under the Act. The impression of being in a class may also be enough to trigger protection. Discriminatory Employment Decisions A business is not permitted to consider a worker’s inclusion in a class when it makes such employment-related decisions as: Recruitment and hiring Firing or layoff Compensation Promotion or transfer Shifts or assignments Benefits package Training An employer may be considered in violation of the Civil Rights Act for policies that have no legitimate business purpose and cause a discriminatory result. For instance, requiring workers to wear a skirt as their only uniform option would tend to discriminate against men. Similarly, designating the auto repair department […]Read More
About Florida Whistleblower Laws Insights into Whistleblower Rights and Obligations Employees are in a unique position to know what is happening at a business. For this reason, the government encourages employees who have information about wrongdoing to come forward. In some cases whistleblowers are entitled to money a government agency recovers because of information the employee provided. In all cases of legitimate whistleblowing, the employee is protected from retaliation. Whistleblower protection does not grant an employee immunity from legitimate negative consequences, but only those related to the whistleblowing. However, businesses should be careful to document the reasons for firing an employee who is considered a whistleblower under Florida or federal law. Whistleblowing on a Private Employer An employee is protected against retaliation for reporting acts of harassment, discrimination or wage and hours violations under the Florida and federal whistleblower laws. An employer cannot make an adverse job-related decision, such as termination, demotion, pay-cut, transfer to an undesirable shift, rejection of leave requests or other action in retribution for the employee’s filing of a grievance complaint or cooperation with an investigation. Florida WhistleBlower’s Act The Florida Whistle-Blower’s Act, codified in Florida Statute §112.3187, protects Florida state employees and contractors from retaliation for exposing gross waste of funds, neglect of duty, mismanagement or legal violations that endanger the public’s health, safety or welfare. A designated whistleblower hotline allows the person reporting the wrongdoing to keep his or her identity confidential, unless disclosure becomes necessary during the investigation. However, the agency is barred from retaliating […]Read More
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