Donna M. Ballman, P.A.

At the Fort Lauderdale law offices of Donna M. Ballman, P.A., we provide legal representation to employees facing a variety of employment problems in Florida. We have organized and dedicated our resources to the practice of employee-side employment law. Our practice focuses on representing employees in employment law, labor law, and employment litigation.

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Layoffs seem to come in waves, and I’m seeing more of them right after the holidays, and there have been some big layoff announcements. If another recession kicks in, we’ll see even more. Older employees, along with the disabled and pregnant employees, are the most targeted employees in layoffs. There seems to be an assumption that the “old guys” will be retiring soon anyhow so it doesn’t matter. It does. Targeting older employees is…
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals says it is not illegal to refuse to hire older employees. They followed the 11th Circuit in this. Fortunately for those of you not living in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia or Alabama, age discrimination in hiring is still illegal under Federal law, until the Supreme Court says otherwise. It’s also still illegal here in Florida and other states that have their own anti-discrimination laws that include coverage…
It’s that time of year again. With 75% of the country getting hit by the polar vortex, I thought I’d better re-run this ever-popular and necessary piece. Whether you’re entitled to be paid when the office is closed depends on whether you are “exempt” salaried or not. Just being salaried doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t entitled to overtime. It’s possible to be salaried and still non-exempt from the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards…
Honestly, I thought about skipping predictions this year, because what’s happening with the president is unpredictable. However, I’ll take my best shot. Here are my predictions for employment law in 2019: Florida might be more pro-employee: Although our new governor was a Trump pick, I don’t think that’s the end of the story. He’s already fighting to lift some legislatively-imposed restrictions on medical marijuana. His new Chief of Staff was also Charlie Crist’s Chief. You…
Every once in awhile someone tells me they were constructively discharged, so they want to sue. They’re surprised when I say, “For what?” That’s because there’s no such cause of action or claim. Just because you were constructively discharged, that doesn’t automatically equal a lawsuit any more than being fired equals a lawsuit. Constructive discharge is where an employee quits work for good cause. If you are constructively discharged, the courts treat it as if…
Every once in awhile someone tells me they were constructively discharged, so they want to sue. They’re surprised when I say, “For what?” That’s because there’s no such cause of action or claim. Just because you were constructively discharged, that doesn’t automatically equal a lawsuit any more than being fired equals a lawsuit. Constructive discharge is where an employee quits work for good cause. If you are constructively discharged, the courts treat it as if…
The viral video of the woman being physically attacked by a customer at McDonalds over an anti-straw law drew much applause from folks who admired the way the cashier defended herself. However, she’s now suspended and faces being fired for not allowing herself to be beaten up. Should you be able to defend yourself if attacked at work? Common sense says yes, but at-will laws say no. Most employers have zero tolerance for workplace violence,…
I predicted that 2018 would not be a good year overall for employees, and I was right. Here’s how my predictions turned out. Sexual harassment: I predicted that, despite all the brouhaha on #MeToo and sexual harassment, no new legislation would pass and that there would be backlash, and lots of it. There was no way I could predict Kavanaugh though. On the federal level, there was no new legislation, but the states stepped in
It’s time for your office holiday party. Joy to the world. Too many folks come to me after the holidays and tell me their holiday bonus was a firing due to something they did at the party. Here’s how to survive without getting fired. 1. Drinking: The number one way to get fired is to drink too much. Most of the office party firings I see are alcohol-related in some way. First of all, if you are an…
First Google had a bunch of employees walk out to protest sexual harassment arbitration, and it rescinded its arbitration policy. Now other companies are following as employees push back. Facebook, Microsoft, Uber, Square, Airbnb and eBay have all rescinded or said they will rescind their forced arbitration agreements for sexual harassment claims. It isn’t just tech firms that are getting pressure from employees. When Harvard law students threatened to boycott law firm Kirkland and Ellis