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Questions Answered by Jay P. Lechner Esq.
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: I was told by my employer that if I forgot to clock in I would not be paid for the time I was off the clock is that lega

I was actually working at the time

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Aug 22, 2021

No. If the employer knew or should have known that you were working, you are entitled to be paid for the time worked. However, you could be subject to discipline, including termination, for failing to adhere to their time clocking policy.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Is my employer required to pay me for my quarantine?

I'm unvaccinated and was exposed to Covid by a coworker at work. My job is requiring me to quarantine without pay for a minimum of 7 days. Are they allowed to withhold pay from me since I was exposed at work?

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Aug 15, 2021

Good question. Under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the answer would have been "no" (unless your employer fell under a statutory exemption). However, effective January 1, 2021, FFCRA paid leave became optional, meaning covered employers were no longer... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Can my boss force me to wear a mask at work that says "Not Vaccinated" on it?
Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Aug 12, 2021

No. Information about an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination status is considered confidential medical information under the ADA. Additionally, under Florida law, every employer who provides health insurance benefits "shall maintain the confidentiality of information relating to the medical... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Does a manager have the right to shame employee for not getting the Covid-19 vaccine?

I live in Florida and where I work it is recommended but not mandatory to have the Covid-19 vaccine. However, every chance my manager gets she bashes me publicly in front of my coworkers and customers. Saying things such as “ you’re going to be the reason another catastrophe happens”. If the... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Aug 3, 2021

Good question. While a private employer is permitted to require employees to be vaccinated, information about an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination status is considered confidential medical information under the ADA. According to the EEOC, the ADA requires an employer to maintain the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Can I get fired for not getting the Covid vaccine?
Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Jul 25, 2021

Under Florida law, private employers generally may require employees to be vaccinated as long as accommodations are made for disability or religious objections, as recently described by EEOC. Under federal law, there have been recent challenges under 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3, which addresses the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: To my understanding an employer cannot deduct money from my paycheck for a mistake I made. Is this true.

I made a mistake a used material that I thought was scrap. Boss saw it Nad sid it wasn't scrap. So he is deducting $500 from my paycheck. I told him that it illegal and he told me if I didn't and agree to it then I wax getting fired just because I told him it's illegal

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Jul 15, 2021

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, certain deductions taken for the benefit of the employer cannot be taken from non-exempt employees' payroll if the deductions reduce the hourly pay below minimum wage. For exempt employees, certain deductions based upon quality or quantity of work performed... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: Can I get some advice about workplace retaliation?

My manager wrote a counseling statement on me shortly after I accused him of singling me out due to my age.

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on May 9, 2021

Both federal and state law prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee for objecting to unlawful age discrimination. There a number of factual issues that would need to be addressed before anyone could provide "advice" on this matter.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: If a worker is fired for asking employer to follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19 is there a case?

My mother works in a small office and the owners have been getting lax in taking precaution when it comes to COVID-19. First, they came into the office to work sans mask, despite being in contact with COVID positive people and tried to hide it. They let my mom work from home for a bit while she got... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Oct 22, 2020

Generally, your mother would not have a cause of action unless there was an actual law, rule or regulation (as opposed to a non-promulgated guidance) requiring the wearing of masks and the company had a practice of violating it. On the other hand, if she were to join with a group of employees to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Is it illegal to fire someone for taking a political survey the company offered, and them not liking the my answers?

So, about 4 days ago I was at work in my cpu and a survey popped up from my company. I take this survey, and to my dismay, it's about politics, Amy Coney Barret, Trump, who will you vote for, etc. I am a Republican so I filled it out as such. I moved from Texas to Florida 1 month ago to take... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Oct 22, 2020

The previous response is correct (albeit unnecessarily politically-tainted) that Florida does not recognize a civil cause of action in this scenario. However, Florida Statute § 104.081 makes it a felony for an employer "to discharge or threaten to discharge any employee in his or her service... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Is there any action one can take against a boss putting employees in unnecessary danger?

If a boss comes into work and multiple of his family members including his wife have tested positive for COVID-19 and have told him he needs to quarantine but he comes in anyway and takes his mask off, is that creating a risky work environment? Is there any sort of legal action one could take... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Oct 23, 2020

One option, as correctly noted by the previous poster, would be to quit. Of course, then you are suffering the full brunt of your boss's callous actions, losing your income and possibly the ability to support your family, even though you did nothing wrong.

Another option would be to...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: If I don't like the outcome of the Labor Board, can I take my old employer to court instead?

I am owed $5000 from my old employer. I went to the Labor Board and since I didn't work over 40 hours I only can get 7.25 minimum wage which means my old employer would only owe about $1500. He was supposed to pay by August 7th, but still hasn't. I am unhappy with the amount I am getting... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Aug 28, 2020

Yes. If by "Labor Board" you mean the U.S. Department of Labor, they only have jurisdiction to enforce the federal overtime and minimum wage laws. The state minimum wage in Florida is $8.56 per hour. You could pursue a civil action for the higher state minimum wage amount plus potential... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Is an employer responsible for supplying equipment/gear needed to do the job required?

I work in a freezer warehouse. With below 0 temperature for a minimum of 9 hours a day. My employer tells me that I have to supply my own boots, suit and gloves.

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Aug 28, 2020

Federal OSHA regulations provide that personal protective equipment (PPE) used to comply with the OSHA law "shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees." Clothing used in artificially-controlled environments with extreme hot or cold temperatures, such as freezers, generally... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Grant scam from my employer

I work in a small business and when covid 19 started I had a pay cut with out any warning un till I say my paycheck short by 1200 a month. I was told I’ll get pay back my money after he gets a grant no he told me he didn’t get it and won’t give me the money I was owed in the last 2 mibths... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on May 12, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Fraud may be actionable under the federal False Claims Act. Examples of potential fraud include: (1) an employer applying for a SBA PPP loan, despite not meeting the financial criteria; (2) the employer misrepresenting its payroll numbers to obtain a PPP loan; (3)... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Can an employer make me get tested for Covid-19 on my day off without pay?

*No signs or symptoms, just requiring everyone to do so

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on May 1, 2020

The EEOC has opined that employers may require COVID-19 testing for employees if conducted in a non-discriminatory manner. The DOL has opined that time spent by current employees traveling to and from required (non-voluntary) medical tests, waiting for and undergoing these tests is... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: I drive my Personal vehicle to the office then get in the Company truck and drive to job site my company dont pay me

For the 1st hour to the job site and from the job site to my personal vehicle Is this legal

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Apr 29, 2020

But see 29 C.F.R. § 785.38 (“[T]ravel from job site to job site during the workday, must be counted as hours worked. Where an employee is required to report at a meeting place to receive instructions or to perform other work there, or to pick up and to carry tools, the travel from the designated... Read more »

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5 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Employment Law and Personal Injury for Florida on
Q: I slipped and fell at work. Company provide no non slip mats in kitchen. Are they grossly negligent?

They provide no non slip mats for wet floors that they know always get wet, from ice to drinks to spills. They also don’t have good enough drainage as it’s under a fixture blocked by ice bin. It’s a kitchen. Also my back already has been hurt before so because of them not taking proper care... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Apr 18, 2020

I agree with the previous responses that this may be covered under workers' compensation. In addition, OSHA recommends restaurants use non-skid mats and/or other non-slip floor surfaces in areas that tend to get wet. A complaint could be filed at www.osha.gov.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Am I entitled to renewed PTO on my work anniversary date if I am under furlough and use it during furlough?

My employer is a hospitality corporation that put everybody on furlough until further notice due to covid-19. I am an hourly employee in Florida. The corporation paid out all of available PTO prior to April but my anniversary was on April 11 and I should have had the number of PTO Days renewed. Am... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Apr 18, 2020

If the company has less than 500 employees, you may have a case based upon the company's interference with your paid leave rights under the CARES Act. Contact a qualified employment attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: As an exempt, salaried employee can my employer reduce my salary without reducing hours or expected output?

No disciplinary action

No unapproved time away

This is in response to maintaining the organization's cash position in response to covid-19

This action is being levied against several hundred salaried employees.

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Apr 8, 2020

Unless you have an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, your employer can reduce your salary based on these extraordinary circumstances. If the salary falls below $684 per week, you may he entitled to overtime compensation.

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: Can you be furloughed if you are on fmla like me?Of 4 managers in my department, I was the only one furloughed.

I am on approved intermittent fmla from my company ( a large publicly traded one) to take care of my elderly mother. I would come in to work about 2 hrs later than regular start time daily to care for my 94 yr old mom before her caregiver arrived. We had been working from home for 2 weeks due to... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Apr 8, 2020

You can be furloughed if you are on FMLA leave, but you cannot be furloughed because you are on FMLA leave. There are a number of other potential issues raised by your message too complex to be addressed in an on-line response. Contact an employment attorney.

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: What if you work for an employer that is considered an essential business and...

What if you work for an employer that is considered an essential business and you work in close contact with other employee's and there is not adequate safety protection like Masks, Gloves, disinfectant, can you refuse to go to work, if the employer refuse to provide the safety items?

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
Jay P. Lechner Esq. answered on Apr 2, 2020

If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, you may file a complaint with OSHA and ask for an inspection. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for filing an OSHA complaint. Moreover, if an employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due... Read more »

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