Practice Areas

Orlando Employment and Labor Lawyer

The dedicated Labor and Employment attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns have been serving the needs of the Greater Orlando area since 1979.  We understand that the times you need a labor attorney are often stressful and charged with emotions.  In those times, you will need an experienced lawyer familiar with the complexities related to employment law to help you navigate this sometimes complex process.

We represent employers and employees in disputes and litigation before administrative agencies, federal and state courts. We also represent our clients in arbitrations and mediations.

A few of the matters we handle include the following:

  • Wrongful Termination
  • Breach of Contract
  • Violation of Wage and Hour Laws, including purported class actions
  • Violations of Non-Competition and Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Discrimination (e.g. Age, Sex, Race Religion, Equal Pay, Disability and More)
  • Failure to Accommodate Disabilities
  • Harassment

To speak with an attorney about your situation, please fill out our online Employment Law Questionnaire (for both employees and employers).

Employment Litigation

If an employer violates federal laws such as those set by Title VII, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or state or local laws, employment litigation may become necessary.

Employment litigation involves issues including (but not limited to):

  • Breach of contract
  • Workplace harassment, racial, sexual, or otherwise
  • Trade secrets and non-compete agreements
  • Wrongful termination
  • Whistle-blowing and retaliation
  • Discrimination against protected statuses, including sex, disability, and race

Many of the issues listed above are federal crimes, and should be taken very seriously.  Contact a qualified employment litigation attorney right away with any questions or concerns.

Family & Medical Leave Rights

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal statute that applies to employees who need to take time from work for certain medical or family reasons, including to care for a sick family member, or for pregnancy, adoption, or childbirth. The FMLA allows the employee to take leave and to return to your job after the leave of absence. In addition, the FMLA provides family leave for military service members and their families, if the leave is related to that service member’s military obligations.

For the FMLA to apply, the employer must have at least 50 employees, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, and the employee must have worked 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding the need for leave.

Claims can arise when an employee is denied leave or retaliated against for trying to take leave. For example, it is unlawful under the FMLA for an employer to deny or discourage an employee from taking FMLA-qualifying leave. In addition, it is unlawful for an employer to fire an employee or cancel his medical insurance because he took FMLA leave.

The employer must reinstate the employee to the position he held when leave began and cannot demote the employee or transfer them to another location. Furthermore, it is unlawful for an employer to fail to notify an employee in writing of his or her FMLA leave rights, especially when the employer is aware that the employee has an urgent need for the family or medical leave.

If the employer violates the FMLA, an employee may be entitled to recover any economic loss suffered, including lost pay and the value of lost benefits and out-of-pocket expenses. That amount is doubled if the court or jury finds that the employer acted in bad faith and unreasonably. In addition, an employee may be entitled to reinstatement to his former position and attorney’s fees and costs.

If you have an employment legal matter concerning discrimination, wrongful termination or harassment, please fill out our online Employment Law Questionnaire (for both employees and employers).

Discrimination

Both federal and Florida laws prohibit discrimination based on:

  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • National origin
  • Color
  • Pregnancy
  • Age (generally 40 and over)

Federal laws prohibit discrimination against individuals based on citizenship status, veteran status, and genetic information.  Florida laws prohibit discrimination against individuals based on AIDS/HIV and sickle cell trait.

Age Discrimination in the Workplace

Age discrimination is the act of treating an individual unfavorably in the workplace simply because of their age. If you feel as if you’ve been a victim of age discrimination, Bogin, Munns & Munns is here to represent you. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, it is unlawful to discriminate against an individual because they are over the age of 40 for any type of employee right or condition including hiring, firing, benefits, wages, job assignments, layoffs, promotion and training. Age discrimination can often lead to adverse emotional effects because employees often feel hurt or angry from being discriminated against by their employer. Our employment & labor attorneys understand how this can impact an individual, which is why we provide compassionate and personalized legal care to ensure that our clients obtain a fair outcome to their case.

It is our job to make sure our clients’ legal rights are protected by placing their needs ahead of our own, no matter what. You deserve an experienced age discrimination attorney to defend your rights whether you’ve been wrongfully terminated, have not been properly compensated, or are facing matters including but not limited to:

  • Restricted job advancement based on age
  • Adverse work environment through discrimination
  • Reduced compensation
  • Segregation based on age
  • Discrimination against privileges

We assist in proving that age was the determining factor to an employer’s decision to discriminate against an individual in the workplace. If you feel like you’ve been denied privileges or have been treated unfairly, experienced and compassionate employment attorneys at our law firm are here to represent you in pursuing a favorable legal outcome to your case.

Genetic Discrimination

Discrimination based on genetic information is a federal crime following the passing of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008.  The law prohibits employers and health insurance companies from discriminating against individuals if, based on their genetic information, they are found to have an above-average risk of developing serious illnesses or conditions.  It is also illegal for employers to use the genetic information of applicants and employees as the basis for decisions including employment, promotion, and termination.

Pregnancy Discrimination

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions in all aspects of employment, including (but not limited to):

  • Hiring
  • Termination
  • Layoffs
  • Assignments
  • Pay rate
  • Benefits
  • Promotion

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects pregnant women against workplace harassment and secures the same disability rights for pregnant employees as non-pregnant employees.

Veteran Discrimination

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) protects veterans from discrimination and retaliation in regard to:

  • Initial employment
  • Promotion
  • Reemployment
  • Retention
  • Employment benefits

Citizenship Discrimination

Federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on an individual’s citizenship status.  This includes:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Asylees
  • Refugees
  • Recent permanent residents
  • Temporary residents

However, if a permanent resident does not apply for naturalization within 6 months of becoming eligible, they will not be protected from citizenship status discrimination.

Disability Discrimination

Over 50 million people throughout the United States have a disability, and unfortunately, many employers still refuse these people an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities. It is also common to see employers failing to provide accommodations for the disabled to properly perform their jobs, which is where the attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns come in. Our Orlando disability rights lawyers have the extensive knowledge and experience litigating disability discrimination cases to help protect the rights of people with disabilities.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, discrimination based on disability is prohibited under certain circumstances. Under the ADA, an employer or state and local government cannot discriminate against an applicant based on any physical or mental limitation. It is illegal to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in almost any aspect of employment, including, but not limited to:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Job applications
  • Interview process
  • Advancement & Promotions
  • Wages & Compensation
  • Benefits
  • and more

We represent individuals who have been denied access to employment, education, business and even government facilities, and challenge procedures that are unlawful against those with disabilities who deserve the same equality. If you feel you have been discriminated against based on a disability, contact a Central Florida disability rights attorney at our firm today. With 40 years of experience, our lawyers can help you determine if your disability rights claim has legal merit.

Racial Discrimination

If you have been a victim of racial discrimination in the workplace, let the attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns help. With over 40 years of experience, our discrimination attorneys can handle your case. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on a person’s skin color. Any actions or harassment by employers based on race is a violation of the Civil Rights Act and is cause for a legal suit. If you have experienced any of the following, contact a representative from Bogin, Munns & Munns today:

  • Segregating employees based on race
  • Creating a hostile work environment through racial harassment
  • Restricting an employee’s chance for job advancement or opportunity based on race
  • Discriminating against an employee because of his or her association with people of a certain race or ethnicity

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment laws apply to virtually all employers and employment agencies and protect employees from all inappropriate sexual conduct that is perpetrated by supervisors and other employees in any workplace.

Sexual harassment laws protect employees from sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, sexual jokes, and more. Employers bear a responsibility to maintain a workplace that is free of sexual harassment.

If there is ever a case against you or an employer, Bogin, Munns & Munns can help you with comprehensive legal representation regarding your employment or sexual harassment matter.

Hospitality

Our labor & employment department of lawyers is here to assist you if an employee, coworker, employer, or manager in the hospitality industry break federal or local laws. We can help take legal action for workplace infractions involving areas such as wrongful termination, discrimination against protected groups, disability rights, and family & medical leave rights.

Orlando has become one of the top family vacation destinations in the United States. It shouldn’t be any surprise since Central Florida is home to the premier theme parks of Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World. Consistent mild winters and plenty of accessible beaches within driving distance also contribute to the large draw year-round for tourists worldwide.

With so many tourists visiting each year, lots of hotels, restaurants, and entertainment establishments have been built to accommodate. To support this industry, the Orlando metro has become the residence to a large population of hospitality employees. While we don’t wish for any labor or employment issues to arise for anyone in our local hospitality community, our firm is here to represent and assist you in cases regarding any of these types of matters.

National Origin Discrimination

National origin discrimination involves treating people (applicants or employees) unfavorably because they are from a particular country or part of the world, because of ethnicity or accent, or because they appear to be of a certain ethnic background (even if they are not). National origin discrimination also can involve treating people unfavorably because they are married to (or associated with) a person of a certain national origin or because of their connection with an ethnic organization or group. Discrimination can occur when the victim and the person who inflicted the discrimination are the same national origin.

National origin discrimination laws forbid discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. It is unlawful to harass a person because of his or her national origin. Harassment can include, for example, offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s national origin, accent or ethnicity. Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted). The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

The law makes it illegal for an employer to use an employment policy or practice that applies to everyone, regardless of national origin, if it has a negative impact on people of a certain national origin and is not job-related or necessary to the operation of the business (e.g., a no accent policy). An employer can only require an employee to speak fluent English if fluency in English is necessary to perform the job effectively. An “English-only rule”, which requires employees to speak only English on the job, is only allowed if it is needed to ensure the safe or efficient operation of the employer’s business and is put in place for nondiscriminatory reasons.

Employment Litigation Defense for Employers

Unfortunately, employers can find themselves the target of employment-related lawsuits despite their best practices.  Some claims also subject the company officer to personal liability. Employment laws are complex and changing all the time.  It is critical to consult with an experienced Employment Law attorney to help you navigate your business through this difficult situation.

Our attorneys represent employers in litigation before administrative agencies, federal courts, and state courts. We also represent them in arbitrations and mediations.

Some of the issues that we have assisted clients defending are:

  • Unlawful Termination
  • Breach of Contract
  • Defamation
  • Discrimination
  • Failure to Accommodate Disabilities
  • Harassment
  • Negligent Hiring and Supervision
  • Retaliation
  • Violation of Wage and Hour Laws, including purported class actions
  • Violations of Non-Competition and Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Unemployment compensation claims
  • And many other claims related to businesses’ employees

We understand employment litigation is charged with emotions and negative publicity, however, we can help our clients minimize the negative effects and keep their positive business reputation all the while allowing them to return to focusing on their business. This could include early recognition of liability exposure and prompt resolution of the claim through an early settlement posture or aggressively defending the claim through trial and an appeal process.

We also can be proactive in assisting our clients with the preparation and maintenance of effective Employee handbooks and policies for distribution and related training. Many times this proactive approach will work as an added defense to potential claims.

We have 13 locations throughout Central Florida and North Central Florida. We are happy to meet you in the location that is most convenient to you. With our Main office in Orlando, we have 12 other offices including ClermontCocoaDaytonaGainesvilleKissimmeeLeesburgMelbourneOcalaOrange CitySt. CloudTitusville, and The Villages. Our Attorneys work aggressively to ensure your Employer Defense litigation matter is handled with the care you should expect from a firm that has been around for over 40 years.

Contact us today to find out more about our litigation capabilities from our skilled and experienced Orlando employment attorneys.

EMPLOYMENT & LABOR QUESTIONNAIRE

Frequently Asked Questions

It is up to the employee to make sure the employer knows of the disability and to let the employer know that an accommodation is required.

It is not the employer’s responsibility to recognize that the employee has a need first.

Once a request is made, the employee and the employer need to work together to find if accommodations are actually necessary, and if so, what they will be.

Both parties have a responsibility to be cooperative.

An employer cannot propose only one unhelpful option and then refuse to offer further options, and employees cannot refuse to explain which duties are being impeded by their disability or refuse to give medical evidence of their disability.

If the employee refuses to give relevant medical evidence or explain why the accommodation is required, the employer cannot be held accountable for not making the accommodation.

Even if a person is filling out a job application, an employer may be required to make accommodations to assist the applicant in filling it out.

However, like an employee, the applicant is responsible for letting the employer know that an accommodation is required.

Then it is up to the employer to work with the applicant to complete the application process.

No, they do not. Employers may even be instructed by their legal teams not to give any reason when delivering the bad news.

Part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII protects individuals from discrimination in aspects of employment, including (but not limited to) pay, classification, termination, hiring, employment training, referral, promotion, and benefits based on (among other things) the individuals color, nation of origin, race, gender, or status as a veteran.

Your rights include an ability to vigorously defend the claim. Or, if you perceive there to be liability, you have every right to engage in settlement discussions.

However, you should have an employment lawyer assist you with your valuation of the extent of liability and potential damages facing the company before you make a decision on whether to fight or settle.

It is always best for an employer to talk to an employment lawyer at the inception of an issue rather than waiting until suit is filed. Many times, the lawyer can head-off a potential claim either through negotiation or formal resolution.

Employers also have rights not to be sued for frivolous claims.

While the burden of proof is upon the employer to prove to the court that the claim is frivolous, if successful, and the employer wins the case, it can create a right to an award of their attorney’s fees payable by the employee.

Such right is usually not otherwise available under most employment law statutes.

Promptly contact an employment lawyer. There are significant deadlines and other requirements in responding to a claim that require expertise in employment law.

When meeting with the attorney, have him explain his opinion of the liability risks and extent of damages. You should also develop a plan of action as to whether to attempt an early settlement or fight all the way through trial.

Yes. Employers in the U.S. must verify both the identity and the employment eligibility of each of their employees. They must also verify whether or not their employees are U.S. citizens. These regulations were enacted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act. An employer would file an I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form) and look over the employees submitted documentation alleging eligibility. By law, the employer must keep the I-9 forms for all employees until 3 years after the date of hiring, or until 1 year after termination (whichever comes last).

No, paying an employee a true salary is but one step in properly classifying them as exempt from the overtime requirements under federal law. They must also fit the “duties test” which requires certain job duties (and lack of others) before they can be considered exempt under the law.

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible private employers are required to provide leave for selected military, family, and medical reasons. Note that the required leave under this law is unpaid.

LET US HELP YOU WITH YOUR CASE

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Request a consultation by filling out the form below, or call us at 855.686.6752. We have over a dozen offices located in Orlando and across Central Florida. We’re happy to answer any of your questions.