Employment Lawyer Tampa, FL
Employment law is a complex area of the law that governs the relationship between employers and employees. It encompasses a wide range of issues, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour disputes, and many others. For both employers and employees in Tampa, FL, understanding their rights and obligations under employment law can be a daunting task. This is where Hoyer Law Group, PLLC comes in. The firm’s experienced employment lawyers can help clients navigate the intricacies of employment law, whether they are dealing with a dispute, negotiating a contract, or simply seeking legal advice.
Hoyer Law Group, PLLC is a full-service law firm that has been providing legal services to clients in the Tampa Bay area for over a decade. The firm’s employment lawyers have extensive experience representing both employers and employees in a variety of employment law matters. They are committed to helping their clients achieve their goals and protect their rights under the law. Whether a client needs assistance with a discrimination claim, an employment contract, or any other employment law matter, Hoyer Law Group, PLLC can provide the skilled and dedicated representation they need.
As a trusted Tampa, FL employment lawyer from our firm knows, any job can have growing pains. You may be wondering if your co-workers are going to like you or you may want to know how long it is going to take you to get that raise. However, there may be instances where you want to know if a situation is legal or if your employer is treating you in a way that is legal. As you enter the workforce or switch jobs, you may have many questions regarding employment law in Florida and you may wish to know what kinds of rights you have. Contact Hoyer Law Group, PLLC for more information when you need the right answers.
While there are initiatives within the workplace to end sexual harassment, our Tampa, FL employment lawyer can share that workplace harassment is still something that people experience in the workplace daily. According to research shared by The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 38% of women and 14% of men have reported sexual harassment in the workplace. Notably, this number is likely higher as many never report sexual harassment, and as many as 85% of people never report the behavior. Sexual harassment can profoundly impact not only the victim, their physical/mental health and their productivity levels in the workplace. It can also affect a company, its’ employers, morale levels, culture, and more. Victims who report workplace sexual harassment may not see a change within the workplace and, as a result, may experience retaliation. If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, consider speaking to Hoyer Law Group, PLLC, for the answers to your questions and a clear legal strategy for moving forward.
Table Of Contents
- Types of Employment Discrimination
- Tampa Employment Law Infographic
- Wrongfully Classified as an Independent Contractor
- Tampa Employment Lawyer FAQ
- 5 Reasons to Hire an Employment Lawyer in Tampa, FL
- Florida Employment Law Statistics
- Hoyer Law Group, PLLC Tampa Employment Lawyer
- Contact Us for A Legal Consultation
Types of Employment Discrimination
Hiring a Tampa, FL employment lawyer like one at Hoyer Law Group can be helpful if you are facing situations that may fall under employment discrimination. One of the most common issues that many workers face is discrimination in the workplace, and it can take many forms. When you first notice signs of discrimination, you should take action as soon as possible. Do not allow an employer to get away with unlawful discrimination. While discriminatory behavior and actions in the workplace can be hard to recognize, it is important that you become familiar with the many forms that they can take.
Racial discrimination is discrimination that refers to your race, ethnicity, country of origin, and skin color. It is unlawful for staff or management to make negative comments about your racial identity that can be disruptive to your work, or used as a reason to treat you unfairly. Examples of racial discrimination include putting workers of certain races in the back of a room, while workers of a different race are allowed to work at the front of the store. If you believe that you are being discriminated against on the basis of race, you may want to speak to a Tampa employment lawyer.
Sex and Gender Discrimination
Discrimination based on sex, gender, and sexual orientation are unlawful. Many people across many different industries experience this form of discrimination. Examples of sex discrimination is when female workers are paid less than male workers, or if a worker’s pronouns are constantly being made fun of or if a worker is not granted access to resources that they need, such as bathrooms.
A less common but equally important type of discrimination that occurs in the workplace is age discrimination. Some industries, like tech and industrial industries, value workers who are younger because employers believe that older workers might not be able to do technical tasks more efficiently. Employers may have a less than favorable view of elderly workers because they believe that they are not able to learn information or skills as quickly as younger workers. An example of age discrimination is when older workers are regularly not considered for promotion.
When you are trying to inform your employer that you are planning to start a family or must leave work temporarily because you are pregnant, it can be an intimidating process. You might be worried about your employer’s reaction. Regardless of how they feel, you have a right to your family planning decisions. If an employer discriminated against you by revoking a promotion or adjusting your pay or job duties because of a personal family decision like pregnancy, you may have a right to seek legal action against them.
If you believe that you have evidence that may allow you to file a discrimination case, talk to a qualified lawyer who has experience handling such cases. You should not be continually disrespected and treated unfairly at any kind of work environment. If you are being discriminated against at work, you could be entitled to receive compensation. To receive more information about your legal rights, set up a consultation with a Tampa employment lawyer like one from Hoyer Law Group.
Tampa Employment Law Infographic
Wrongfully Classified as an Independent Contractor
A Tampa, FL employment lawyer understands that for many people, the idea of working independently of an employer is appealing. They may be able to set their own hours and rates while handpicking the types of jobs they want to take. The downside is that they do not have an employer taking out taxes, they must provide for their own benefits, and generally lack the protections that regular employees enjoy. In some cases, an employer classifies people working for them as independent contractors so that they can save money and reduce their own liability. Employee misclassification is a serious matter that has the potential to jeopardize your well-being and future financial security.
Why Employers Misclassify Employees as Independent Contractors
Increasing numbers of people are working as independent contractors rather than actual employees. If this is a career choice you have made, you are likely prepared to deal with the potential conflicts and complications that can arise. The problem is when an employer misclassified workers as a way of saving money and avoiding responsibility.
A Tampa employment lawyer knows that employers have a powerful motivation for wrongfully classifying workers as independent contractors. The potential benefits for the employer include:
- There are no payroll taxes
- They do not have to pay minimum wages or overtime
- They do not have to comply with hourly requirements concerning breaks or meal periods
- They do not have to reimburse workers for business expenses
- They do not have to provide health care or life insurance benefits
- They do not have to cover independent contractors for workers’ compensation, disability, or Social Security
The Difference Between an Employee and an Independent Contractor
There are several standards used in determining whether a worker should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee, which can easily create confusion. There are three general categories the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recommends using in making these determinations:
- Behavioral control – How much control does the employer have over the work and the way in which it is performed?
- Financial control – How much control or direction is involved in the financial and business aspect of the worker’s job?
- Relationship – Are there written contracts between the worker and the employer? How integral are the duties performed by the worker to the employer’s business?
Employers who are found to have misclassified workers as independent contractors rather than employees could be subject to fines and criminal or civil penalties. They can also be subject to having to pay back taxes, benefits, and additional types of compensation to cover any losses or damages the worker suffered as a result.
Tampa Employment Lawyer FAQs
How do I know if I need an employment lawyer?
You may need an employment lawyer if you’re dealing with issues such as discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or wage and hour disputes in the workplace. An employment lawyer can help you understand your rights and options under the law and provide legal representation if necessary.
How much does it cost to hire an employment lawyer?
The cost of hiring an employment lawyer varies depending on the complexity of the case, and other factors. At our firm, we operate primarily on a flat fee or hourly basis for our employment matters. To start, we offer a full case evaluation for a low flat fee so that you have a comprehensive picture of what’s ahead. It’s important to discuss fees with your lawyer upfront so you know what to expect.
Can I represent myself in an employment law case?
While it’s possible to represent yourself in an employment law case, it’s not recommended. Employment law is complex, and mistakes can be costly. An experienced employment lawyer can provide valuable guidance and representation that can increase your chances of success.
How do I choose the right employment lawyer?
When choosing an employment lawyer, it’s important to consider factors such as experience, expertise, reputation, and communication skills. You may want to read reviews, ask for referrals from trusted sources, and schedule a consultation to discuss your case and assess the lawyer’s fit for your needs.
What should I expect when working with an employment lawyer?
When working with an employment lawyer, you can expect to receive guidance and representation throughout the legal process. Your lawyer will help you understand your rights and options under the law, gather evidence, negotiate with the other party, and represent you in court if necessary. It’s important to maintain open communication with your lawyer and follow their advice to maximize your chances of success.
Is it possible for my employer to up and fire me?
Absolutely. Your employer also does not necessarily owe you a reason for firing you either, since Florida is an at-will state when it comes to employment. That said, if you believe your employer fired you for certain reasons (your gender, your religion) then you should work with our team to fight back.
What kinds of rights do I have as an employee?
When you are employed under Florida law, you have the right to be protected against discrimination. This means you may be a member of a certain protected class based on:
This simply means that you are protected from being fired if any of these factors play into the decision. It also means that an employer cannot choose not to hire you based on these reasons as well.
I would like to bring a complaint forward against my employer. What should I do?
If you believe you have a good reason for bringing a complaint against your employer, one of the best things you can do is reach out to your Tampa employment lawyer. You should schedule a meeting with your lawyer and bring any evidence you may have against your employer so that you can both determine if your claim is valid. If you have found that your employer has violated your rights during your time of employment, your lawyer can help you send your complaint to the right agency.
Should I file a suit or a workers’ compensation claim?
If you were injured while working or someone intentionally injured you, you have a few options. You can either file a workers’ compensation claim while you are out and unable to work, file a suit against your employer, or file a suit against someone else if you believe their actions were intentional. It is important to discuss these options with your lawyer to determine which course of legal action is good to take.
What are the most common types of workplace sexual harassment?
Workplace sexual harassment can take on several forms and, while at times may be easily identified, it may be difficult to pinpoint the behavior in other situations. Examples include:
- Quid Pro Quo: “This for that” when another employer, usually someone with power, requests sexual favors or makes advances in exchange for opportunities
- Physical Sexual Harassment: unwanted touching
- Verbal Sexual Harassment: sharing jokes, inappropriate comments, stalking, repeatedly asking for dates
What are common signs of experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace?
Tampa employment lawyer is well aware that many people may have difficulty identifying sexual harassment because, at times, it can be nuanced. However, there are several key signs of sexual harassment to consider. If any of the following are present, it may be time to take action:
- Being propositioned by a person in power
- Sexual jokes that are made about you or made in your presence
- Being treated differently than other employees
- You have asked the aggressor to stop or reported to human resources, but no action has been taken
- You feel uncomfortable
- Sexual or inappropriate conversations
What steps should be taken to stop sexual harassment?
When experiencing sexual harassment, victims should take action. First, ask the aggressor to stop and immediately report the incident to a supervisor or make a formal report with HR. HR should formally investigate the complaint and develop a plan for moving forward. However, in some cases, harassment may continue, HR may not take action or mishandle the situation. In some cases, the victim may experience retaliation as a result. Should this occur, it’s essential to speak with an experienced lawyer for help moving forward immediately.
When should legal action be taken?
When employers are made aware of the harassment, they are legally required to take action to ensure it stops and that the person experiencing harassment is protected. It may be necessary to take legal action if the employer does not take adequate action or retaliates against the person who reported the behavior. Retaliation is illegal and occurs when a person experiences adverse treatment, such as job demotion, job loss, etc., for engaging in a protected employee act.
Is it necessary to have legal representation when contending with issues surrounding sexual harassment?
There are several points at which a person may consider legal action. While some may choose to speak with a lawyer when they report the issue to HR, others may wait until their employer has failed to take proper action or has treated them poorly. A lawyer can play a crucial role in helping to file a complaint with the EEOC, communicating with the employer, and even building a case and negotiating a settlement.
The path forward when faced with employment issues is likely unclear for employees who have been treated poorly when engaged in protected employee acts. Taking action with a Tampa employment lawyer from Hoyer Law Group, PLLC, can be the next step forward in holding employers accountable for their actions.
5 Reasons to Hire an Employment Lawyer in Tampa, FL
- Expertise: The attorneys at Hoyer Law Group, PLLC have years of experience in handling employment law cases, and can provide expert legal advice and representation. They are familiar with the nuances of employment law, including local and state regulations, and can help clients navigate the complexities of the legal system.
- Protection of Rights: Whether you’re an employer or employee, you have rights under the law. An employment lawyer can help you understand those rights and ensure that they are protected. They can help you file a complaint or lawsuit if necessary, and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Mitigation of Risks: In today’s litigious society, employers need to take proactive steps to mitigate risks and protect themselves from potential lawsuits. An employment lawyer can help you identify potential issues and implement policies and procedures that will reduce the risk of litigation.
- Conflict Resolution: Disputes between employers and employees are a common occurrence in the workplace. An employment lawyer can help you resolve these disputes in a fair and equitable manner, whether through negotiation, mediation, or litigation.
- Cost-Effective: Hiring an employment lawyer may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can actually be a cost-effective solution in the long run. A lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your rights are protected, potentially saving you money in legal fees and settlements down the road.
Florida Employment Law Statistics
In 2022, there were over 100,000 employment law claims filed in Florida, an increase from 90,000 claims filed in 2021, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The most common types of claims filed are wage and hour violations (30%), discrimination (25%), wrongful termination (20%), family and medical leave violations (15%), and other (10%). The average settlement for an employment law claim is $30,000, and the majority of these claims are filed against large employers with 500+ employees. Additionally, the Florida Supreme Court issued several rulings in 2022 that expanded the rights of employees, including a ruling that employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their vaccination status. Furthermore, the Florida Legislature is considering several bills that would further expand the rights of employees, including one that would require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees.
Florida has a specific set of employment laws, as a Tampa, FL employment lawyer can explain more about. These laws protect both employers and employees, ensuring a balanced and fair work environment. At Hoyer Law Group, PLLC, we pride ourselves on our understanding and application of these rules, guiding our clients through complex legal terrains.
Florida’s At-Will Employment Doctrine
Florida is one of the several states that are called at-will employment states. This means that, unless an employee has a contract stating otherwise, either the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, as long as that reason isn’t illegal. While this provides flexibility for both parties, it also means that employees can be let go without notice or cause. However, there are exceptions to this doctrine, especially when termination is based on discriminatory reasons, which is where a lawyer can offer guidance.
Discrimination And Harassment Laws
The Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) is a cornerstone of the state’s employment laws. It prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status. While federal laws also prohibit such discriminations, the FCRA provides an added layer of protection for Floridians. Discrimination can manifest in various forms, such as unequal pay, unfair promotions, wrongful termination, and more. If you are facing similar scenarios, it is recommended that you contact a Tampa employment lawyer for more details. Florida employers are legally obligated to provide a workplace free from sexual harassment. The law delineates two primary forms of workplace harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment involves a supervisor or employer offering job benefits in exchange for sexual favors. A hostile work environment is when the behavior of colleagues, supervisors, or even non-employees creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Wage And Hour Laws
Both employers and employees should develop a basic understanding of state wage and hour laws. The state’s minimum wage is set higher than the federal minimum wage, and it’s adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. Moreover, employers in Florida must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding overtime pay, which mandates that employees are compensated at one and a half times their regular hourly rate for any hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek.
Retaliation And Whistleblower Protections
Employees who engage in whistleblowing are protected against retaliation by employers by state and federal laws. These whistleblower laws ensure that employees can voice concerns without the fear of adverse employment actions such as demotion, salary reduction, or termination.
Navigating the complexities of Florida’s employment laws can be daunting. Whether you’re an employer aiming to remain compliant or an employee who believes their rights have been violated, expert legal counsel is paramount. At Hoyer Law Group, PLLC, we are dedicated to assisting our clients with a comprehensive understanding of these regulations. If you believe you’ve faced workplace discrimination or any other employment-related injustice in Florida, don’t hesitate to contact a Tampa employment discrimination lawyer. We’re here to advocate for your rights and ensure that justice is served. Get in touch with a Tampa employment lawyer as soon as possible if you would like to discuss your employment law case.
Hoyer Law Group, PLLC Tampa Employment Lawyer
2801 West Busch Blvd, Suite 200 Tampa, FL 33618
Contact Us for A Legal Consultation
If you need help with an employee rights issue during your time of employment, it is important to seek legal help you can trust. Call Hoyer Law Group, PLLC now to speak with our trusted Tampa employment lawyer today.
If you are an employee whose employer is trying to illegally classify you as an independent contractor, there are legal steps you can take to stop this action and protect your right to benefits and other actions. Contact Hoyer Law Group, PLLC to schedule a consultation with a skilled Tampa employment lawyer and find out what legal recourse you may have.