Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home

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I posted this about a decade ago, and apparently it still needs to be said so I’m reposting and updating it.  So you’re called into the back room. It’s a tiny one with no windows and only one door. In the room is someone who identifies himself as being from Loss Prevention. He seems so nice. He tells you he’s there to help you save your job. If you only tell him what he wants…
 I’ve had some clients get very excited about the news that President Biden’s new executive order seeks to curtail noncompete agreements. And it is exciting. It just isn’t a magic wand that made noncompete agreements suddenly disappear. Here’s what it says about noncompetes: Section 1. Policy. A fair, open, and competitive marketplace has long been a cornerstone of the American economy, while excessive market concentration threatens basic economic liberties, democratic accountability, and the welfare of…
This is a question I get a lot these days. Yes, employers can force employees to be vaccinated, with exceptions. Some exceptions that come to mind are religious, disability, and pregnancy.  Yes, employees can be terminated for refusing to vaccinate, unless they fall within a legal exception. If they do fall within an exception, then the issue will be whether there is a hardship on the employer. If the employer can prove there is a…
Many employers are mandating vaccines for employees returning to work. But are they required to pay you for the time you take off work to get the vaccine and for any side effects? Most likely not, but there are some jobs and some states where you might be entitled to this. In general, there is no law requiring any sick leave in my home state of Florida, much less paid sick leave. Other states,…
 Florida has a statute that was clearly intended to protect employees who testify against employers:  92.57 Termination of employment of witness prohibited.—A person who testifies in a judicial proceeding in response to a subpoena may not be dismissed from employment because of the nature of the person s testimony or because of absences from employment resulting from compliance with the subpoena. In any civil action arising out of a violation of this section, the court may…
 OSHA has issued its guidance for workplaces that still have unvaccinated workers. Among other things, they want employers to grant paid time off for workers to get vaccinated. Here’s what they say on this: Except for workplace settings covered by OSHA’s ETS and mask requirements for public transportation, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their workers from COVID-19 exposure in any workplace, or well-defined portions of a workplace, where all employees are fully…
 The American Rescue Plan has a lot to unpack. One of the provisions that has gotten the least amount of press attention is the fact that employers now have to pay your COBRA costs if you’ve been let go. This benefit starts April 1, 2021 and ends September 30, 2021. That’s a heck of a lot of savings for unemployed workers. Who is entitled: Anyone who loses their health insurance because they lost their job…
With big storms hitting all over, even places like Texas that aren’t used to snow closings, 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 Act. Many
 Many employers are mandating that employees get COVID vaccines, for good reason. COVID is a deadly disease that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and shut down many businesses. Employers want to get back to work.  Private sector employers can likely mandate vaccines with exceptions: Disability: Employees who have a disability that prevents them from being vaccinated will be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Florida Civil…
 I’m hearing a lot of muttering about free speech rights relating to the Capitol protest/attempted coup last week. A number of people have been fired by employers after storming the Capitol, and they are complaining about their rights being violated.  So this raises the question: Can I be fired for attending the Capitol protest? Short answer is yes, with some limited exceptions. But if your question is: Can I be fired for storming the Capitol?…