A Sampling Of Questions About Employment And Employment Law
When it comes to employment, it is not feasible to answer all possible questions, because new problems and situations come up all the time. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic years beginning in the spring of 2020, many new challenges have arisen for employers and employees alike.
Nonetheless, in the world of employment law, several themes reoccur over and over in the workaday lives of ordinary employees. At Berman Law Firm, P.A., in St. Petersburg, we often hear questions such as the following from new and existing clients.
I have heard that Florida is a “right-to-work” state. Does this mean an employer has to hire me?
The term “right-to-work” is confusing to people who are not familiar with what it’s about – namely, labor unions and employment. Your Florida employer cannot force you to join a labor union nor punish you for joining one. The term “right-to-work” does not refer to any special hiring privileges that you or anyone else may have in Florida.
I am visually impaired, mobility impaired or hard of hearing – and Florida employers keep turning me away. How do I know if they are illegally discriminating against me for my disability?
First of all, we commend you for asking this question. It is good to stand up for your rights when seeking employment. In Florida and elsewhere in the U.S., employers are not allowed to discriminate in hiring or other aspects of employment on the basis of disability. Employers are expected to provide reasonable accommodations if necessary. On the other hand, employers do not have to take on undue hardships to accommodate potential employees who cannot fulfill the requirements of a job. For clarity about your rights and what to do after employers have failed to follow anti-discrimination laws, consult with an employment law attorney.
My employer told me when I was hired that I would have vacation time, sick leave and bereavement leave available. But when I try to take time off, my supervisor says I cannot. What can I do?
The state of Florida does not require employers to provide paid time off to employees. However, if your employment contract said you would have time off and it is being denied to you, consult with an employment law attorney. Your employer may be violating your employment contract. Ask an attorney at Berman Law Firm, P.A., about ways you can enforce an employment contract.
I am over 40 and I am repeatedly passed over for promotions that younger workers get. How can I assert my right to freedom from age discrimination?
You may not have a legal problem, but rather, a career development problem. For example, you may have neglected to apply for positions that younger workers did apply for. In such cases, you cannot claim that your employer’s failure to promote you was due to age discrimination. However, if you repeatedly apply for promotions, you are repeatedly overlooked, younger workers are repeatedly promoted and you are unhappy about these outcomes, a conversation with an employment law attorney may open your eyes to possibilities you have for asserting your right to fair treatment at work despite your age.
What can I do to get unfair annual reviews out of my file at work?
First, you can try to get this done through conversations with your supervisor and/or human resource (HR) officials. If this does not get the results you are looking for, the next step may be to ask an attorney to explain how you can document wrongdoing at work. You may have enough evidence of discrimination against you to file a complaint with a state or federal agency. If you still do not get the relief you are looking for, you should explore the possibility of bringing litigation against your employer. An employment lawyer can verify whether you have the standing to bring a lawsuit.
My employer is about to close the branch of our office where I was hired and have been working. Now my boss tells me my job will end as a result of the company’s downsizing. Is this legal?
Florida is an at-will employment state. This means that employers can let employees go for business reasons or no reason at all. However, they cannot fire employees on the basis of illegal discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex or veteran status. When in doubt about your particular situation, call 727-547-3316 or send an email inquiry.