Employment Law Attorney in Tampa, FL
Violation of Civil Rights
Each individual’s civil rights are heavily protected by numerous federal and state laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Florida Civil Rights Act, and many others. A thorough examination of each situation that presents the possibility of a potential civil rights violation begins with a systematic understanding of exactly what your civil rights entail. Each person is to be treated equally regardless of regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, religion, and many other personal characteristics. Equality and freedom form the foundation of our civil system, and violations of these basic principles should be treated with competence and professionalism. Have you been treated unfairly in the workplace? Has a manager, co-worker or other business associate used your color, sex, national origin, age, disability, religion or protected characteristics to impose negative consequences on you or alienate you from the group? Reference the information below for more detailed information on how a violation of your civil rights can manifest itself in the workplace.
Workplace discrimination can take many different forms and employees often may not realize its lasting effects in the workplace. Many times discrimination goes uncorrected because (1) the victim is too frightened to speak up or (2) workplace discrimination may sometimes be hard to define and/or prove.
What does workplace discrimination look like?
Typically discrimination occurs when an employee is denied a job, denied a promotion, receives an adverse employment action, is treated worse or is disciplined or discharged because of his or her race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability or religion.
Because employers rarely, if ever, admit a discriminatory reason for their actions, case law allows an employee to show discrimination just by showing he or she was treated worse under the same circumstances as a co-worker. If you feel you may have been discriminated against, call us.
Workplace harassment is in many ways the antithesis of healthy and productive workplace behavior. A hostile work environment hampers growth and stability in the workplace, wasting time for employees and employers alike. Over the years we have seen hundreds of employees suffer from workplace harassment and have witnessed first-hand the negative effects it can have on the quality of life for all parties involved. Unwelcome comments or conduct, based on a protected characteristic, create an antagonistic and unfriendly setting that impedes the facilitation of growth and the healthy advancement of business objectives.
What is considered harassment?
Severe or pervasive remarks or behavior based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, religion, or any other legally protected characteristics that excessively affects work performance or creates an unhealthy or intimidating environment may constitute as workplace harassment.
Case law provides some standard examples of harassment in the workplace:
- Leering, or staring in a sexually suggestive manner
- Offensive remarks about appearance, attire or body parts
- Touching in a way that may make one uncomfortable, such as patting, pinching, or brushing up against one’s body
- Telling lewd sexual jokes or making lewd gestures
- Sending, forwarding, or soliciting sexually suggestive letters, text messages or images
Other forms of non-sexual harassment in the workplace:
- The use of racially derogatory words, phrases or labels
- Racial or ethnic demonstrations that may offend a particular racial or ethnic group
- Remarks about a person’s skin color or other racial/ethnic characteristics
- Negative comments regarding an individual’s religion, or lack thereof
- Derogatory age comments
Harassment claims require proof. Gaining the correct evidence and factual information needed to effectively present a legitimate workplace harassment claim can be a draining and laborious process. If you feel that you have been harassed in your workplace environment and that a hostile situation has been created as a result of this unfavorable behavior, contact us to discuss the specifics of your case. As each situation is unique, all individuals are strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel to determine the nature and severity of their personal situation, which is why we offer a free consultation. Contact Thompson Legal Center at 813.769.3900.
Wages and Hour
The Fair Labor Standards Act provides guidelines for wage and overtime pay, affecting both private and public places of employment. Many times employers may not follow these guidelines and may fail to and pay an employee his or her deserved wages. Additionally, employees often are not fairly compensated for the extensive hours of quality work that they contribute to their respective places of business. We are able to assist in a swift and competent manner regarding minimum wage and overtime pay cases. Often when an employee complains about his or her pay, employers take retaliatory action against the employee. If this has happened to you, contact Thompson Legal Center at 813.769.3900.
Family Medical Leave
The Family Medical Leave Act guarantees employees working for medium sized to larger employers medical leave for their own and for their family members’ medical needs. If you have informed your employer that you require leave time for your medical needs or for a family members’ medical needs, or if you have put in for FMLA leave, the law offers you protection. If you have been discharged or subject to adverse action because of your protected activity or if you have not been allowed to return to your employment or to your prior position, you may have a claim under this act. Please contact Thompson Legal Center at 813.769.3900 for a consultation to discuss your rights.
Often employees engage in protected actions such as complaining of discrimination or harassment, requesting medical leave, asserting his or her minimum wage on overtime rights, “blowing the whistle” on an employer’s illegal activities or refusing to engage in such illegal activity. While this protective activity should result in an employer addressing and curing the situation, often the employer, instead of doing what is right, takes retaliatory actions against the employee such as firing the employee or taking adverse actions against the employee. If this has happened to you, contact Thompson Legal Center at 813.769.3900.
Other Workplace Standards
The state of Florida and the Federal government provide additional protections in the workplace. Additional laws regarding whistleblower and retaliation protections, plant closings and mass layoffs, and the treatment of uniformed service officers also govern the workplace environment. If you have experienced a situation in your place of employment with regards to one of these areas that has unfavorably affected your employment experience, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. Contact Thompson Legal Center at 813.769.3900.
The average U.S. citizen spends most of his or her waking hours at work, which is partly why the Florida state and Federal officials have put so much emphasis on employment law and on governing the employee experience. However, understanding how your specific employment experience applies to the laws that are in place can be a complex and tiring experience. That is what we are here for! Each day we come in contact with employees who need assistance with a certain work situation, or set of circumstances that have negatively affected their ability to enjoy the workplace and feel rewarded for their efforts. If you have questions regarding your employment experience, contact Thompson Legal Center at 813.769.3900.