Employment Law

Our firm finds it extremely rewarding when we are given the opportunity to represent a client in recovering wages they are owed or representing a client in a wrongful termination case. Employment is one of the most important parts of most people’s life. The ability to earn a fair wage for a day’s work is the life blood to sustain oneself and one’s family. When employment is interrupted, it often causes a domino effect of life related issues and stress. When it is interrupted because an employer has elected to cheat you from overtime wages you have earned or has discriminated against you, it adds an element of insult and a degree of unfairness. We navigate our clients through the legal process in protecting their rights. Our firm handles cases in the following areas: failure to pay overtime; discrimination in the form of age, race and gender; pregnancy discrimination; retaliation against employees for reporting discrimination or wage related issues to their employer; and retaliation against the employee (such as termination) for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you, a friend, a family member or a co-worker have questions about employment law rights, wage requirements, or the prohibition against discrimination in the work place, call our attorneys today to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION for your employment matters. Remember – the consultation is free and private. Additionally, our clients that we represent in wage, discrimination, and retaliation cases against their employer are handled on a contingency basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am paid salary, does my employer still have to pay me for overtime?

Too often an employer believes that if they pay you a salary they do not have to pay for overtime – this is not always correct. There are two types of salaried employees, salary exempt and salary non-exempt. If your employer has told you that you are not entitled to overtime because you are paid a salary – you should schedule a free consultation with our attorneys so that we can discuss your particular situation and determine if you are owed overtime wages.

When is overtime required?

The general rule is that overtime is required for all employees for all time worked over 40 hours in a 7 day period. The only time overtime is not required is if a special exemption from overtime is applicable. If you have questions as to whether or not you are entitled to overtime, you should schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

I am a sales person, should I be paid overtime?

There is a special exemption that applies to some sales people, but not all. The law holds that “outside sales people” can be exempt from overtime pay, but only if certain required elements are present. If you are a sales person and have questions as to whether or not you should be paid overtime, you should schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Can my employer mandate that I don’t work any overtime?

Yes, an employer is permitted to not allow an employee to work overtime. However, if you do work overtime, then the employer must pay the overtime wages.

How much overtime must I work before I am paid for it?

Generally, any time worked over 40 hours is compensable. Our firm has successful recovered overtime wages for employees that worked only 15 minutes a day overtime.

Does my employer have to pay for time spent during lunch?

An employer does not have to pay for time during lunch as long as the employee is totally relieved from their job obligations. Too often we see cases where an employer requires an employee to eat at their desk, or will automatically deduct a certain amount of time out of each day for lunch, even if during that week the employee had to work through lunch. If you believe that you have worked through lunch on occasions and have not been paid, you should schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

If I am owed overtime wages…how much money am I entitled to recover?

Generally, an employee is often entitled to recover 2X their owed overtime wages (the actual wages and liquidated damages that are equal to the actual wages owed). I additional, the employer will be required to pay your attorneys’ fees and court costs.

How long do I have to make a claim for overtime wages?

An employee has 2 years from the date the wages should have been paid to bring a claim. In some instances, should it be determined that the employer’s failure to pay overtime wages was willful, then, and in that event an employee may be entitled to 3 years of damages.

What if I was fired because I questioned how I was being paid?

It is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee because they issues a complaint to the employer about not being paid the wages owed.

What if I am fired shortly after pursuing a workers’ compensation claim?

It is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee because they decided to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. If you believe that your termination may be the result of you seeking a workers’ compensation claim, you should schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

What type of money am I entitled to if I was fired as a result of retaliation or discrimination?

Generally, an employee will be entitled to recover back wages, future wages and in some cases punitive damages against the employer.

How do I know if I have been discriminated against?

It can often be difficult to determine whether or not an adverse action against you by your employer is the result of discrimination. This is because in most cases the employer discriminates in a discrete manner and does not perform a blatant overt act of discrimination. If you have even the slightest inclination that you were fired, demoted, or received pay-cut because of discrimination, you should schedule a free and private consultation with one of our attorneys.

If I am still employed there and have questions…will they know I spoke with a lawyer?

No, our free consultations are completely private and we do not contact your employer unless you have authorized our firm to pursue a claim.

Can I pursue a claim if I still work there?

Yes, should you wish to pursue a claim for wages or discrimination, you are permitted to do so even if you still work there. There are, however, special issues and practical matters that arise. Should you have questions about pursuing a claim while still employed there, you should schedule a free and private consultation with one of our attorneys.

Do I have any up-front costs to pursue a wage or discrimination claim?

No, not if you hire our attorneys. Our attorneys handle wage claims and discrimination claims on a contingency basis – this means that our law firm covers the costs and only gets paid if we are successful in obtaining money for you. All our clients are provided a written representation and fee agreement that clearly sets out how the costs and fees are paid only if we recover money for you.

What is my first step in filing a discrimination claim and is there a deadline?

Your first step in filing a discrimination claim is to set up a free and private consultation with one of our attorneys and they will navigate you through the process step-by-step. An employee is required to file a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and/or the Florida Human Resources Commission before they file a lawsuit for discrimination. There are very specific deadline for filing the Charge of Discrimination and if missed will prevent you from filing a lawsuit. Should you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, you should schedule a free and private consultation with one of or attorneys immediately.

Get in Touch

Have a legal problem? Call the attorneys at Booth & Cook today at (727) 842-9105 or Request an Appointment and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.

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