Ocala, FL Employment & Labor Law FAQs
Guide to Florida Employment & Labor Laws
The attorneys at Schatt, McGraw, Rauba & Mutarelli provide expert answers to your questions pertaining to employment and labor law in the state of Florida.
When is overtime due?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employees to be paid overtime for work that exceeds 40 hours per week.
When must breaks and meal periods be given?
The FLSA does not regulate breaks and meal periods. Instead, these are governed by state laws and policies. Most jobs that require 5 to 6 hours of work require a meal period.
Short breaks should last 5 to 20 minutes and require payment. Meal periods should last at least 30 minutes and are not calculated in an employee’s overall pay.
What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal legislation that governs labor standards and other matters related to full-time and part-time workers. These may include matters regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, child labor laws, compensatory time off and recordkeeping. By working with Ocala labor law attorneys, you can be sure that your employer is operating under FLSA standards.
What notices must be given before an employee is terminated or laid off?
The FLSA does not mandate employers to provide employees with notices prior to termination, but many state regulations do. In most cases, if a company has to make a mass layoff, or terminate numerous employees at a given time, an official warning may be necessary.
How many hours per day or per week can an employee work?
According to the FLSA, employees can work an unlimited amount of work in so long as they have access to breaks and are compensated for their work. The standard for most work weeks is 35 to 44 hours. Every company has an Employee Handbook that governs how much time an employee is permitted to work during the week. Upon being hired at your place of work, you will be required to review and sign the company’s employment policies.
How are vacation pay, sick pay and holiday pay computed and when are they due?
Per federal standards, vacation pay, sick pay and holiday pay are not legally required. These types of benefits are worked out between employers and employees.
If your employer fails to pay you for sick days, vacation days and holidays, and your employer-employee contract specifies that this is a policy of the company, you should speak to an Ocala employment lawyer.
I didn’t get my last paycheck. What can I do?
It is common to experience delays when expecting your last paycheck. If a total pay period passes, you should consider working with an employment attorney in Ocala, FL for assistance.
What is a wage determination?
A wage determination is a compiled list of wage rates. The wage rates are categorized by the type of industries and geographical regions.
When are pay raises required?
There are no federal laws that govern pay raises. Generally, pay raises are discussed with employers and employees.
I just found out I am pregnant; can my employer fire me or reassign me?
No. Your employer cannot terminate you or deny you a promotion because of a pregnancy. Further, you are entitled to pregnancy leaves that are treated equally to medical conditions and disabilities (if the company has at least 15 employees).
If you experience pregnancy discrimination, consider visiting our employment and labor law firm in Ocala, FL for guidance.
Must a youth have a work permit to work?
In most cases, a work permit is not required. However, before a youth is hired, his/her parent or guardian may be required to review, approve and assign new hire paperwork.
What is Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)?
When a major disaster strikes, an individual may be unable to gain employment. Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) provides unemployment and reemployment benefits to individuals who suffer after a disaster. Surviving victims of Hurricane Katrina, for example, may qualify for this type of assistance.
What should I do if I believe I am being discriminated against based on my religious beliefs?
No company or employer should discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender and religion. If you believe that you are being discriminated against based on your religious beliefs, the first thing that you should do is politely discuss your issues with your employer. Aim to reach a solution on the matter.
If issues persist, you should speak to an employment lawyer.
Can I discuss my religion with co-workers?
Yes. However, your discussions about your religion should be positive and friendly. Conversations about religion that become hostile, forceful or intimidated are prohibited.
Because I am paid by salary, my employer said I’m not eligible for overtime; is that correct?
If you make less than a specified amount (as governed by the state), you may still be eligible for overtime pay. Consult with our employment lawyers to determine if overtime is possible for you.
My employer wants to pay me as an independent contractor (1099) instead of an employee. Can they do this?
It is possible for employers to hire workers as both independent contractors and employees. While independent contractors are usually provided with greater flexibility when performing work tasks, they may not qualify for the same work benefits as employees, such as workers’ compensation insurance and taxes. If you are hired as an employee, your employer is legally required to treat and pay you as one. Payment and treatment as an independent contractor may be illegal.
If I get fired, am I entitled to unemployment compensation benefits?
If you are fired, there is a strong possibility that unemployment compensation benefits may not be accessible to you. However, if you are fired on wrongful grounds, you may qualify for benefits.
Is my former employer allowed to give me a bad reference?
Your former employer has the right to tell the truth when asked about your performance at a previous company. If this truth reflects negative characteristics, there is nothing that you can do. Defamation of character, however, is against the law.
My boss screams at the employees; can I sue the company for having a hostile workplace?
This type of suit is difficult to pursue. We recommend that you bring forth your concerns to the company’s Human Resources (HR) department so that the company’s leadership will handle the issue. If the issue is not resolved, visit our labor and employment law firm for a free initial consultation.
Does my employer need "cause" to fire me?
Not necessarily. If you believe that you have been terminated wrongfully, such as due to discriminatory factors, you should speak to our employment attorneys.
For more information on federal and state labor and employment laws, visit our Ocala law firm today.