Employment Law

Employment litigation is a large sector of law focused on the needs of employers and employees. It includes very personal and complex matters. It’s critical to have consult an employment lawyer for up-to-date legal advice and guidance.

At Bitman O’Brien and Morat, PLLC, we strive to achieve the best outcome for you. Our employment attorneys represent employees and employers in various legal inquiries and disputes. Call us today at 407-815-3110 to consult with an employment lawyer about your options.

Discrimination Cases

These disputes are one of the most common types of employment disputes. They relate to unfair workplace treatment.

However, this occurs in many ways in the workplace and can take many different forms. Common forms include:

  • Hiring and Firing Choices
  • Promotion and Staffing Choices
  • Special Treatment of Employees
  • Unfair Wages
  • Harassment
  • Creating a Hostile Workplace

Depending on the circumstance, federal and/or state law may prohibit actions based on factors like:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Marital Status
  • Pregnancy

If you feel you received unfair workplace treatment, we recommend you speak with an employment lawyer. They can help you explore your options. Furthermore, if your company is facing any such lawsuit, it is critical you consult an employment lawyer immediately.

Under state and federal law, it is illegal to discriminate against employees for various factual reasons. This includes wrongful discrimination against an employee for:

  • Seeking the services of an employment lawyer for the claims
  • Taking part in cases or legal actions related to claims

In employment disputes, we represent employers and employees. Because we represent both sides in employment cases, we know the various pitfalls and levers to best assist our clients, whether they are management or wronged employees. When you work with an employment lawyer on our team, they work for your best interests.

Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act

Another type of employment litigation is access to fair pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, covers an employer’s legal provisions regarding minimum wage and overtime pay. For employees, the FLSA governs their entitlement to certain wages. Marking an employee as “exempt” or “non-exempt” affects wage provisions.

Deciding the legal status of employees as exempt or non-exempt is very  fact-specific. It depends on their specific role, skills, and duties. For example, an exempt employee:

  • Gets paid on a salary basis
  • Performs e-suite, skilled, or admin job duties
  • Earns at least $35,568 per year or $684 per week

Under the FLSA, if you do not meet these standards, an employee may qualify as non-exempt. The FLSA mandates employers must pay all non-exempt employees’ wages equal to the federal or state minimum wage. Employers must pay whichever is higher. Few exceptions to this exist. Our qualified employment attorneys can help you understand your status and what it means.

The FLSA also defines overtime pay. In most conditions, non-exempt employees qualify for overtime pay after working more than 40 hours in any given work. Your employer must pay a minimum of 1.5 times your regular hourly wage for any extra hours you work. This applies even if you worked less than 40 hours in any previous or next workweek.

On the other hand, exempt employees do not qualify for overtime pay. This is regardless of how many hours you work as an exempt employee in any given workweek. However, you earn your full salary for any workweek that you work at all. In general, an employer cannot reducee an exempt employee’s pay based upon the number of hours worked.

An employment lawyer from our team can represent you whether you are an employee seeking to recover wafes or an employer being sued for unpaid wages. We can assist with all types of legal disputes regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Non-Compete Disputes

Employers make efforts to prevent employment litigation. However, they also take measures to protect themselves. This may lead to legal action against employees. An employment lawyer can represent you.

Some employers ask employees to sign a non-compete agreement. This is often because employees access information and resources that could harm the employer if obtained by a competing party. This also happens because employers invest significant resources into training employees and they do not want employees opening competing businesses.

A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employer and an employee. The employee agrees not to engage in actions that would compete with the business interests of the employer. The agreement prevents engaging in competing employment within a limited time period after the employment relationship ends.

These agreements often prohibit an employee from obtaining employment with or becoming a direct competitor of the employer. The agreement may also affect your rights to enter certain markets or professions. If in breach of a non-compete agreement, you may be liable for money damages to the employer. You may also be subject to injunctive orders preventing further competition.

In Florida, non-compete agreements are often held to be valid, legal, and enforceable. However, courts can declare them invalid.An employment lawyer can help you understand the fact issues surrounding validity of non-compete agreements. For instance, they may be rendered invalid if they do not protect a company’s  legitimate business interests o. This may also occur if they are too restrictive in length of time or geographic restriction. Deciding this is fact-specific and varies depending on a range of factors, but the restrictions must:

  • Be in writing and signed by the employee
  • Protect a valid business interest of the employer
  • Be limited to a length of time and geographic area within reason
  • Be limited within reason to the type of business action protected

We represent employers and employees alike in legal disputes related to employment matters. Our employment lawyers represent both types of clients in drafting these agreement or ion litigating these disputes.

What Are Trade Secrets?

Trade secrets are private knowledge, practices, or processes that give an enterprise a commercial advantage over others. Trade secret laws prevent the wrongful disclosure, financial exploitation, or misappropriation of trade secrets.

To qualify as a trade secret, the information must:

  • Be unknown to, and not accessible by, opponents, certain personnel or the public
  • Have enough commercial value to create an advantage in the marketplace
  • Be the subject of rational measures to maintain the secrecy of the matter

There is no process to register trade secrets as the information necessarily must remain secret.

A business may consider almost anything a trade secret but the courts look to:

  • Business Plans
  • Food or Drink Recipes
  • Lists of Customers
  • Databases of Info
  • Methods of Manufacturing
  • Research and Development Data
  • Proprietary Computer Programs
  • Chemical Formulas
  • Marketing Analysis
  • Product Designs
  • Blueprints
  • Forecasts for an Industry
  • Business Manuals
  • A company’s financial information

A trade secret owner cannot prevent an opponent from using items found through separate research, testing, or publicly known information.

Hiring An Employment Lawyer in Florida

At Bitman O’Brien & Morat, PLLC, our employment attorneys care about your best interest. To learn more or to consult with a qualified and committed employment lawyer, please call us at 407-815-3110. We serve you with offices in Florida in Orlando, Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale.

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