Business disputes are handled as any other kind of lawsuit. It’s either going to be handled through negotiation, through a court process and litigation or through arbitration. Typically, business disputes should always have efforts to try to settle the cases and reach some kind of common ground. Sometimes a lawsuit will need to be filed or defended, but then it will lead to a negotiated resolution. The earlier that you can have some discussion to determine what the other side wants and what you want the better it is. Some cases have to go farther, and the court will have to decide it.
Overtime hours are calculated based on the person’s hourly rate and anything above 40 they’re supposed to be getting a halftime premium. For example, if the hourly rate is $10 an hour and the person works five extra hours above 40 hours a week, they’re supposed to be paid an extra $5 for those extra overtime hours.
Most employees file charges of discrimination by contacting the EEOC, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They will be given a form and they will complete a form, and they will meet with somebody at the agency to assist in completed that form.
The EOC resolves discrimination charges by investigating the charges so when the charge of discrimination is filed by an employee the employer is contacted by the EOC for a response. The employer will provide a written response including documentation. These responses typically will include what happened with this employee, what occurred, perhaps employment reviews that will be attached to be showing that the employer considered things carefully and made a valid business decision to terminate the employee’s employment. The EOC will then provide information to the employee and ask for the employee’s response and then make a decision as to whether there is probable cause for the charge of discrimination.
There is no general limit for an employer to tell an employee how many hours to work. Now, there are exceptions. Certain industries have legal requirements that an employee cannot work beyond a certain number of hours for public safety reasons, and in those situations, the employer is limited as to the number of hours it can ask the employee to work. Outside of those industries where there are not some safety reasons, typically, there are not limits, but the employee is never obligated to work the extra hours. Employee can refuse and just simply not contain the employment relationship, or tell the employer, “I’m not willing to do this.”
If an employee is pregnant, the employee still can be fired. The law prohibits the employer from treating the employee worse than any other employee, so if the employee does not do a good job and happens to be pregnant, the employee still can be terminated, and it still would be lawful. Pregnancy does not insulate the employee from the requirements of every other employee to do their job properly. Now, with that said, typically it’s not in an employers best interest to rush into a termination of a pregnant employee because of the potential for claims, and the expenses associated with those claims.
Non-compete agreements are not always enforceable. Florida typically requires that all competition be allowed, and there shall be no restriction of competition, but there’s a separate statute in Florida, which is 542.335 Florida statutes that governs non-compete agreements. That statute requires that there be certain legitimate business interests of the employer set out in the statute such as for example, the protection of trade secrets or the protection of confidential information. The employer has to plead and prove these to be able to force a non-compete covenant.
Not all employers are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. There are 2 basic types of coverage under the Fair Labor Standards Act. One type, the typical type is enterprise coverage meaning that the employer has to have at least $500,000 in revenues, and it has to have at least 2 employees. There are other types of coverage, which are called traditional coverage where there’s certain businesses that are going to otherwise be covered in the Fair Labor Standards Act regardless of the revenues and the number of employees.
There are many exceptions to employment at will, and these are what are called discrimination laws. When an employee is being discriminated against based on race, on age, ethnicity, whistle-blower status, worker’s compensation status, these are exceptions to the at will rule that have been created by the courts as well as by the legislatures. These allow the employees to enjoy protections where the employer cannot simply saying, “You’re an at-will employee because I’m terminating you.” The laws say you’re not allowed to fire somebody for these particular reasons, and if you do you’re subject to damages for those claims.
An employer can require an employee to arbitrate claims after they’ve been hired, but there has to be a written agreement signed by both the employer and the employee. Courts will typically honor those agreements because courts encourage arbitration to minimize the impact in courts and allow the parties, both the employer and employee to resolve the claims in the matter they’ve contracted for.