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Questions Answered by Jay P. Lechner Esq.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Yesterday I was told I’m being furloughed due to Coronavirus. I am 8 months pregnant - does my job have to honor my LOA?
Jay P. Lechner Esq.
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Jay P. Lechner Esq.
answered on Apr 1, 2020

If you were singled out for furlough while other non-pregnant employees were not, the company may be liable for discrimination. You may also qualify for unemployment benefits. Moreover, if the purpose of furloughing workers is to avoid paying paid leave under the new Coronavirus Paid Leave Law,... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Im a salary paid director of a child care in clearwater, FL The business temporarily closed Coronavirus do they pay me?

I have been paid on a salary basis for at least ten years now they do not want to pay me due to covid19 closure

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

In the absence of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, a company may cease operations due to business necessity caused by the pandemic and not pay employees who are not performing work. You may be eligible for unemployment benefits. On the other hand, if the purpose of... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: My wife was sent home from her job without pay due to a positive COVID-19 test result at my hospital. Is this legal?

I work in a hospital and do not have direct contact with an patients. We recently had a positive test result at the facility, and the patient is already discharged.

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
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Jay P. Lechner Esq.
answered on Mar 31, 2020

It is legal for an employer to take reasonable actions to protect the health and safety of its employees and customers. However, if an employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, that employee would be entitled to up to two weeks of... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Florida on
Q: I resigned from my employer, a large engineering firm, and they refuse to pay me for my last weeks of work.

The amount could be settled in small claims court, but I am unsure where to make that claim, my local office location (Orlando), corporate HQ office (Dallas), or payroll processing office (Pasadena, CA). Would an attorney help me for less than $10,000 owed.

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
PREMIUM
Jay P. Lechner Esq.
answered on Mar 24, 2020

This is a type of matter for which an employment attorney could help you. Often these disputes can be resolved prior to filing suit. If not, your actual place of employment generally is the correct jurisdiction. There may be other issues, so you should probably speak with an attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Health Care Law for Florida on
Q: there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 at my workplace, and the management team has not notified any staff

My management team has not notified any staff members of the cases of COVID-19, and have hidden the cases to an extent. The employees have found out due to word of mouth from close friends of the effected individuals, and I am working on getting contact with the individuals themselves. Assuming the... Read more »

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
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Jay P. Lechner Esq.
answered on Mar 19, 2020

This morning, the President signed into law the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, which provides 2-weeks paid leave to certain employees (not in the health care field) for a number of reasons, including if they have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: i was just informed by my supervisor that hr is investigating me for working off the clock.

i was unaware this was illegal . i don't want to be fired . what can i do?

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
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Jay P. Lechner Esq.
answered on Dec 24, 2019

It’s not illegal for you to work off the clock, but it is illegal for a company to not pay an employee for time worked off the clock. A company can discipline an employee for working off the clock, but must pay him/her for that time, including any overtime if it pushes the work time over 40 hours... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Florida on
Q: I'm on 1099, but I'm just an employee. The owner offered to change to w2, but at a reduced rate of pay. Is this legal?
Jay P. Lechner Esq.
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Jay P. Lechner Esq.
answered on Dec 18, 2019

Misclassifying employees as 1099 independent contractors is a common tactic used by employers to avoid various expenses, including taxes, unemployment and workers's compensation costs and overtime compensation. Changing you to a W2 is not illegal, nor is reducing your pay. The real question is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Florida on
Q: Overtime question. Fiance is a teacher assistant ( not an actual teacher) and she also does after care as well. Her pay

Is 25000 a year for the assistant position (7am-230pm) and she gets paid $20/hr for aftercare ( 230pm- 5pm). She works a 10 hour day 50hrs a week. She’s now being told there’s a new 2020 FL law saying she will get overtime. Should she have gotten overtime from the beginning of working there? Thanks

Jay P. Lechner Esq.
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Jay P. Lechner Esq.
answered on Dec 11, 2019

The short answer is that she likely was entitled to overtime from the beginning of her employment, assuming her primary job duty did not involve teaching. The long answer requires an analysis of multiple compex issues under the FLSA. First, it is true that effective January 1, 2020, the salary... Read more »

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