In 2015, the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, approved an ordinance prohibiting wage theft in the city. The Wage Theft Ordinance (WTO) “aims to eliminate the underpayment or nonpayment of wages” by giving private employees within the city’s limits an administrative process for seeking back wages, liquidated damages, and costs and attorney’s fees. Pinellas County maintains a similar, though not identical, wage theft ordinance.
In Allen v. Ambu-Stat, LLC, No. 18-10640 (January 16, 2020), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a Georgia district court’s dismissal of a former employee’s sexual harassment claim and delivered a strong rebuke to a plaintiff seeking to temporarily enjoin the district court’s use of summary judgment in Title VII claims. The decision may provide guidance for employers as to what behavior constitutes pervasive harassment in the workplace.
Florida’s 2020 legislative session convened today in Tallahassee. This session will be one to watch, as over 20 workplace-related bills have already been filed, covering such topics as discrimination and retaliation, minimum wage and overtime pay, pre-employment verification and background screening, reemployment assistance, tax credits and refunds, job relocation, job protections for medical marijuana users, paid family leave, and heat illness prevention.
In 2020, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase. The following chart lists the states’ (and certain major localities’) minimum wage increases for 2020—and future years if available—along with the related changes in the maximum tip credit and minimum cash wage for tipped employees. The federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per
On November 22, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the court with jurisdiction over Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, handed down a decision that invalidates certain provisions in arbitration agreements in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) wage and hour cases.
The Florida Minimum Wage Act, which applies to all employees in Florida covered by the federal minimum wage, requires the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity to calculate a new minimum wage rate each year on September 30. The wage rate is based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to September 1. Florida’s minimum wage is currently $8.46 per hour. According to state government officials, beginning January 1, 2020, Florida’s minimum wage is scheduled to rise to $8.56 per hour, which is a $0.10, or 1.12 percent increase, due to the change in the CPI.
The Florida legislature recently amended the “Indoor Air: Tobacco Smoke” Act, §386.202 of the Florida Statutes, to restrict indoor vaping in addition to tobacco smoking in enclosed spaces. The amended act is now known as the “Indoor Air: Smoking and Vaping” Act. The new law went into effect on July 1, 2019.
The Florida Legislature concluded its annual legislative session on Saturday, May 4, 2019. Over 20 employment-related bills were introduced, covering subjects such as E-Verify, criminal background screening, discrimination and harassment, sexual misconduct reporting in health care, local regulation of employment conditions, minimum wage, vaping, paid leave, internship tax credits, restraints of trade or commerce (noncompete agreements), drug-free workplaces, and unemployment compensation claims. Although only two of these bills survived, many of the bills that did not pass could resurface and impact employers in the near future.
On March 21, 2019, finding in favor of an employer seeking summary judgment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Lewis v. City of Union City, clarified the definition of “similarly situated” comparators for claims of intentional discrimination, jettisoning the commonly cited “nearly identical” and “same or similar” standards in favor of a test asking whether comparators are “similarly situated in all material respects.”
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
The Florida Minimum Wage Act, which applies to all employees in Florida covered by the federal minimum wage, requires the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity to calculate a new minimum wage rate each year on September 30.
In its second pro-plaintiff decision in as many months, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that blind website accessibility plaintiffs need not show that difficulty using a place of public accommodation’s website also caused a lack of equal access to the physical place of the public accommodation.
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently had the opportunity to remind employers not to ignore training employees on safety.
In Bowen v. Manheim Remarketing, Inc., No. 16-17237 (February 21, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII sex discrimination claims of a former manager of a car auction facility who alleged that she had been paid less than the male manager whom she replaced.
On December 13, 2017, a Florida district court of appeal held that Miami Beach violated Florida law by enacting a local ordinance increasing the minimum wage. According to the court, Florida law prohibits municipalities from setting a minimum wage higher than the state minimum wage.
In 2018, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. The following table summarizes the statewide minimum wage increases that have been announced for 2018, along with the related changes to the maximum tip credit permitted and minimum cash wage allowed for tipped employees.
Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protect nursing mothers against post-pregnancy workplace discrimination?
Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that created Florida’s minimum wage in November of 2004. The minimum wage applies to all employees in the state covered by the federal minimum wage. Florida law requires a new minimum wage calculation each year on September 30, based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to September 1.
With the peak of hurricane season here, the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey fresh in our minds, and Hurricane Irma approaching, Florida employers may want to familiarize themselves with employment laws that may be implicated in the event of a storm and be prepared to address storm-related issues, such as closing their businesses and resuming normal operations.
The City of St. Petersburg, Florida, recently amended its wage theft ordinance to require employers to provide pay notice to employees at the time of hire and to display “in a location accessible to all employees” a poster about wage theft.
Voters in the November 8, 2016, general election in the state of Florida approved the Florida Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative. The initiative required a supermajority vote to pass, with at least 60 percent of voters voting in support of a state constitutional amendment.
On March 10, 2017, the majority of a split Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed a district court’s dismissal of a sexual orientation discrimination claim brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.