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 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?…
In these times of political turmoil and pandemic, employee stress levels are off the charts. So I’m here to tell you to give yourself a break. Most people aren’t taking their vacations this year, and I think that’s a mistake. Even if it’s a staycation, take some rest and relaxation time to chill, work on a hobby or catch up on reading. You don’t want  to burn out. Especially now, it’s a really bad time…
 It’s election time, and in these emotionally-charged times there are lots of disputes arising in the workplace over politics. Can you be fired because of your political beliefs? Maybe. It depends on where you live.  Here are some things employers can’t do during this political season: Limit Discussions On Which Candidates Would Improve Working Conditions: While employers can certainly prohibit general political discussions and political campaigning at work, the National Labor Relations Act says that…
I’m hearing about lots of employers with fewer than 50 employees claiming that it is their choice whether to grant CARES Act emergency sick leave or FMLA. That is simply incorrect. Employers with fewer than 500 employees have to comply with the CARES Act leave requirements. However, there are some exemptions allowed to employers with fewer than 50 employees that aren’t given to larger employers. Per the Department of Labor, in order to deny…
Due to coronavirus, millions of Americans have been laid off and more layoffs are coming. The global pandemic has made the need for unions crystal clear. Unions all over the U.S. have valiantly been fighting for workers. Here is just some of what unions have done to help their members during the pandemic: Insurance continuation: Unions have successfully negotiated with employers to maintain health insurance and other benefits and insuring employers continue paying for health