Florida Labor Law Lawyer
While there are many arguments about how much control states should have over labor laws compared to the federal government, there's no question that no matter the status of the state's laws that plenty of cases exist requiring exceptional labor law attorneys. Federal law guarantees a wide variety of protections for workers. When employers violate these protections, you may end up needing a quality labor law attorney to help guide your case through civil court.
What Rights Are Guaranteed Under Federal Law?
There are a variety of major labor rules that are guaranteed under federal law, and these cannot be overridden by state laws or rules. It doesn't matter whether states are "Right to Work" or not, some protections are mandated from the top. These include topics like minimum hourly wage, safe working conditions, and getting paid time and a half for over 40 hours in a week. You can't be asked to work without being on the clock, and you can't be denied overtime if you're forced to stay clocked in past the normal hours.
According to The New York Times, Wal-Mart is just one of many companies finding out the hard way what happens when you try to skirt these laws. They are set to settle with over $352 million in fines for improperly withheld wages. That's a lot of money to pay, and even a company the size of Wal-Mart couldn't buy their way out of trouble. This is why having experienced and exceptional labor law attorneys on your side is an absolute necessity before diving into any case.
Florida has Major Labor Law Issues
Labor law is a thriving practice in Florida and it doesn't take too much research to see why. According to The Sun Sentinel, over 20% of the labor law violation lawsuits in the entire country come right out of south Florida. This isn't just out of the state, but in the entire United States one in five lawsuits over the violation of labor laws and the withholding of wages come from just the southern part of the state. A statistic like that is not only mind-boggling, but it goes to show why the demand for competent labor attorneys is so high.
The numbers are really eye opening. Over the past 5 years there has been just a touch over 32,000 lawsuits that specifically focused on labor law violations like withheld pay and forced overtime without compensation. Almost 11,000 of those, or one-third, were from the state of Florida, with over half of those coming from just south Florida. That is not the type of legal trend that you want your state to be known for.
Why Is It so Bad in Florida?
This definitely makes Florida stick out in a way that can't be considered positive. Why are things so bad there? One major theory is that unlike the majority of states, Florida does not have any state labor department, meaning there really is no state level agency putting pressure on employers to follow the laws. This could be a huge part of the reason why there are so many more lawsuits since there's no other course of action.
Lawyers and Settlements also points out that Florida is both "Right to Work" and "At Will" employment, which means workers have very few legal protections and can be fired or withheld employment without cause for virtually any reason as long as it isn't in direct violation of a federal law. This could be used by unscrupulous business owners to strong arm workers into accepting unfair conditions.
In Florida it seems that a truly good labor law attorney is the great equalizer.