Do you know your rights as an employee?
It’s always important to know your rights as an employee so you can know if you are being taken advantage of or otherwise find yourself in a work situation where the legality is questionable, such as facing discrimination or not receiving fair compensation. Under Florida law, employers have certain responsibilities to their employees, and when those rights have been violated, we at Solnick Law will fight to protect all of your rights as an employee and ensure that you are represented by a firm with knowledge and experience. So many employees do not know their basic rights, making it easier for unscrupulous employers to continue their illegal business practices. In order to combat this, we made this post as a quick rundown of some major Florida employment laws so you can learn and be aware of your rights as an employee in the state of Florida.
An overview of important laws
To begin with, before you are even employed, during the job application process, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate based on race, religion, sex, age, disability or national origin. This means that during an interview, it is against the law for a potential employer to ask your age, marital status, sexual orientation, if you have any disabilities or if you are a U.S. citizen. Florida is what’s known as an “at-will” employment state, which means that employees unless they’ve been covered by a contract or union agreement that governs the terms of employment, can be fired or let go for any reason. On the reverse, it does also protect an employee’s right to quit or resign for any reason. Obviously, this does not protect employers from delivering an unlawful termination, some examples of which would be making their employees the target of harassment or discrimination, if the employee was absent to serve on a jury, or as a form of retaliation for an employee asserting their legal rights. These are some of the cases in which an employee could file a wrongful termination claim.
Other important employee laws to be aware of include the Fair Labor Standards Act, which is a federal law that established the forty-hour work week, national minimum wage (currently, the minimum wage in Florida is $8.05 an hour) and time-and-a-half overtime pay. While some workers may be exempt from overtime pay, they must fit the very specific criteria that the FLSA uses to decide exemption. Also, there’s the Family Medical Leave Act, which requires that employers provide up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave to their employees for birth and care of an employee’s newborn child, as well as care for an employee’s child that has just been adopted, care of the employee’s spouse, child or parent when a serious health issue, or if the employee is having a serious health issue that affects their ability to work, such as a major surgery. It is unlawful for an employee to either deny this time for the aforementioned reasons or fires the employee while they are away from work for the previously referred to reasons. However, an employee is only eligible got FMLA coverage is they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, and if a minimum of fifty employees are employed by the same employer within seventy-five miles.
These are only some of the laws that affect and protect employees in Florida and across the country. It is incredibly crucial to know your rights as an employee so that you can protect yourself from employers looking to take advantage of you. If you suspect that your employee rights are being violated, call Solnick Law at (786) 629-6530 for a consultation today, and we will work our hardest to preserve and protect your rights as an employee in the state of Florida.