Fort Lauderdale Employment Attorney
Having the right employment law attorney on your side can provide you peace of mind — and make the difference between an unacceptable situation and a favorable resolution. Employment laws change often as Congress and state legislatures pass new bills; and courts interpret existing laws in new ways. Employment law issues involve a complex mix of both federal and state statutes. That is why it is important for Illinois businesses and employees to contact an employment lawyer who is well-versed in both federal and Illinois employment law when they need legal assistance.
Whatever work-related legal challenges you grapple with, the Law Office of Nnamdi S. Jackson can provide you with up-to-date, on-target information and recommendations appropriate to your specific employment law situation. We are a law firm dedicated to resolving your workplace concerns.
Whether you are a business, senior executive, mid-level manager, or perform clerical or blue collar work, Mr. Jackson will personally manage your case and make sure you are fully informed about all of your options. It is his goal to always get the best possible result for each client. The Law Office of Nnamdi S. Jackson, P.A. serves Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and surrounding areas.
Fort Lauderdale Business Tort Attorney: Breach of Contract, Unfair Business Practices, Business Fraud, Trademark Infringement, Interference with Economic Relationship, Trade Secret Disclosure, and Business Disparagement
Our South Florida business litigation attorney represents entrepreneurs, professionals, small businesses, inventors, and private companies as plaintiffs and defendants in a range of business litigation matters: Business Disputes, Breach of Contract, Partnership Disputes, Unfair Competition, Trade Secret Disclosure, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Unfair Business Practices, Business Fraud, Shareholder Disputes. Business litigation can involve simple business transactions as well as complex business transactions, sometimes involving thousands of pages of corporate legal documents. Prosecuting or defending such lawsuits requires detailed investigation and preparation.
Our firm understands that litigation is significant for small businesses – it can be time consuming and costly. We understand that many business owners, particularly start-ups, lack the resources, both financial and operational, to handle diversions from their daily business transactions. For most South Florida start-ups and small businesses, generally surviving on small profit margins, business litigation costs can often prove disastrous. Although business litigation expenses can be tax deductible and expensed in most cases, the time cost and lost production of a small business is extremely burdensome for the business owner. For that reason, our attorneys are sensitive to the legal fees necessary to properly defend or prosecute a business matter and will do whatever we can to provide flexible fees and billing options.
At every stage of the business litigation process, from evaluation of claims, staffing and initial strategy development, to document and information management, through discovery and trial preparation, settlement or verdict, our South Florida business litigation lawyers are cognizant of client needs and zealous in our representation of those clients.
Employment Lawyer News
Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court decided New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira. The Supreme Court ruled that transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce—including those labeled as independent contractors—are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and thus cannot be compelled to undergo mandatory arbitration. Justice Gorsuch, writing for a unanimous Court, held that plaintiff Dominic Oliveira, a trucker driving for defendant New Prime, had the right to litigate his wage and hour claims in court, rather than have them decided by an arbitrator.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether federal courts have the authority to waive a Title VII plaintiff’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), or state equivalent, before filing a complaint in federal court. A person who wants to sue under Title VII (or other federal employment anti-discrimination laws) must first file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. This is known as “administrative exhaustion.” The case before the Supreme Court is Fort Bend County v. Davis.
Lois Davis, an IT supervisor for Fort Bend County, Texas, sued Fort Bend County in federal district court, alleging retaliation and religious discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Davis claims she was fired for not reporting to work on a Sunday (she attended a church service), in retaliation for reporting that she was sexually harassed and sexually assaulted by a superior. She filed sexual harassment and retaliation charges with the Texas Workforce Commission. After investigating, the Commission told her she could sue and she brought a retaliation and religious discrimination lawsuit against Fort Bend. Fort Bend pointed out she didn’t exhaust her administrative remedies by filing a charge of religious discrimination with the Texas Workforce Commission. After several appeals, the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s ruling dismissing Davis’ claim. In its reversal, the Fifth Circuit ruled that a federal court could hear Title VII claims even if the plaintiff had not completed an administrative process required under Title VII because Fort Bend waived the defense by waiting five years to raise it.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released two opinion letters Dec. 21, 2018; both address Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance issues.
The first letter, FLSA2018-28, approved a pay plan in which employees’ average hourly rates varied from week to week; DOL said such an arrangement was permissible from a minimum wage standpoint because the employer ensured that the average hourly pay rate always exceeded the FLSA’s minimum wage for all hours worked. The agency warned the employer that the arrangement’s default assumption of a regular rate of pay of $10 per hour for the purpose of calculating overtime would not comply with the FLSA’s overtime requirements when an employee’s regular rate of pay exceeded that amount. If an employee works more than 40 hours in a week, he or she is paid time and a half using a rate of $10 an hour for overtime hours worked regardless of his or her actual average hourly rate or regular rate of pay. Thus, employers are not allowed to establish arbitrary benchmarks when it comes to calculating overtime.
The second letter, FLSA2018-29, concluded that members of a religious commune who lived in small groups and shared all money and possessions in common were not employees within the meaning of the FLSA and were therefore exempt from its requirements. The FLSA, as a general matter, requires employers to pay employees for their work. 29 U.S.C. § 206(a). The FLSA does not apply to religious ministers serving in that capacity. According to the DOL, the members of a religious organization “fall squarely within the ministerial exception.” Recognizing there is “no rigid formula for determining who qualifies for the ministerial exception,” the “members’ way of life resembles that of a monastic community.” The WHD’s opinion remained the same for members who worked at two nonprofit, “income-generating ventures of the community.” The DOL also noted the members “do not expect to receive compensation in exchange for their services.”
The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to prospective whistleblowers in Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers (February 21, 2018), making it more difficult to bring a retaliation claim under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The justices said that a part of the Dodd-Frank Act that protects a whistleblower from being fired, demoted or harassed only applies to people who report legal violations to the SEC.
On March 7th, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeals held that a supervisor’s one-time sexual advance out of the workplace can meet requirements to pursue a retaliation claim under Florida law, in a ruling that called for a new trial in a police dispatcher’s suit claiming a local police chief lashed out after she declined his advances.
In Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, __ U.S. __ (2018), Epic Systems involved consolidated appeals from the Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal. In each case, an employee signed an employment contract denoting that the employee would arbitrate any disputes arising between the employee and the employer and providing further that the arbitration would occur on an individualized basis, with claims “pertaining to different employees to be heard in separate proceedings.” After a dispute arose between a particular employer and employee, the employee attempted to pursue his or her claims as a class action. The employer sought to compel individual arbitration, and the circuit courts split on whether contracts mandating individualized arbitration violates the NLRA, 29 U.S.C. § 157, by barring employees from engaging in “concerted acvitit[y].”
In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held on November 6, 2018, that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) applies to all public employers regardless of the number of employees. The ADEA protects individuals 40 years or older from unlawful discrimination in the workplace.