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WSH Obtains Significant Arbitration Victory for the City of Homestead

On August 22, 2013, the firm obtained a significant arbitration victory for the City of Homestead, in a case involving a former police officer who was terminated for committing numerous policy violations. Alison F. Smith defended the City against the employee’s claim that he was terminated without just cause in violation of the collective bargaining agreement between the City and the union that represents its police officers, and argued that the City had just cause for the employee’s termination based on numerous policy violations he had committed while conducting an investigatory stop (some of which could have resulted in harm to himself and the public). In particular, the City contended that just cause existed for the former police officer’s termination because he: (1) failed to notify Dispatch of his correct location and did not call in the stop; (2) failed to call for backup; (3) failed to advise dispatch of his delay in responding to another call to which he had been dispatched while conducting the investigatory stop; and (4) disclosed confidential information from a database that is restricted to law enforcement use and access to that individual. In denying the employee’s grievance, the arbitrator ruled that the evidence presented by the City established that it had just cause for the employee’s termination because the employee’s actions, including his failure to advise dispatch of his correct location while conducting an investigatory stop (which could have compromised his safety and by itself warranted his summary discharge), constituted “extremely serious/major offenses.”

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

U.S. District Court Judge Holds Interns Working At Motion Picture Studio “Employees” Entitled to FLSA Protections

Earlier this month, a federal district court judge for the Southern District of New York ruled that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated federal and State minimum wage laws when it failed to pay two unpaid interns who worked on the film “Black Swan” from 2009 to 2010. In Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., ----F. Supp. 2d ----, 2013 WL 2495140 (S.D.N.Y. Jun. 11, 2013), Judge William H. Pauley III held that plaintiffs Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman were improperly classified as “unpaid interns” and were actually “employees” protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”).

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal Law
Tags: Employment AgreementsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment LawyersFair Labor Standards Act
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Labor and Employment Lawyers Obtain Summary Judgment for City in Discriminatory Discharge Case

On April 23, WSH attorneys Brett J. Schneider and Alison F. Smith obtained summary judgment in favor of the City of Lauderhill in a federal lawsuit brought by a former City maintenance worker. The Plaintiff alleged, among other things, that the City discriminated against him on the basis of his age and national origin, retaliated against him for making a discrimination complaint, and ultimately terminated his employment because of his age and national origin. Judge Robin Rosenbaum, in a 30 page written order, adopted many of the arguments made by Brett and Alison and granted summary judgment as to all seven counts in the Complaint.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigation
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingGovernmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers

WSH Labor Attorneys Win Arbitration For City of Lauderhill

On April 11, 2013, attorneys Brett J. Schneider and Alison F. Smith obtained a significant arbitration victory for the City of Lauderhill, in a case involving a former City police officer who was terminated because he admitted to engaging in criminal activity while on duty as a Lauderhill police officer while underdoing polygraph examinations in connection with jobs he was seeking with two other Florida law enforcement agencies. In his defense, the employee claimed that he fabricated stories about engaging in criminal activity during those polygraph examinations because he wanted to fail the polygraph examinations, as he was no longer interested in working for those agencies. The City argued that it had just cause to terminate the employee because, whether he had in fact engaged in criminal activity on duty or had lied about doing so, neither lying nor engaging in criminal activity is a trait that any law enforcement officer should possess. The arbitrator agreed and denied the employee’s grievance in its entirety, holding that, as a law enforcement officer, the employee was required to demonstrate honesty and integrity and, failing that, could not have his employment salvaged by the City.

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

Broward County Implements Wage Payment Law

In January 2013, Broward County implemented an ordinance that makes it easier for employees to take legal action against their employers for non-payment of earned wages. Under Broward County Ordinance 2012-32, if an employee has performed work in Broward County and his/her employer has failed to pay or has underpaid the wage rate applicable for the work performed within a reasonable amount of time from the date on which the employee performed the work, the employee may file a complaint with the Broward County Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Professional Standards (“OIAPS”) to recover those lost wages. Section 20½-2(f) defines a “reasonable time” as no later than 14 calendar days from the date that the work is performed, unless the employer has established a pay schedule whereby employees earn and are consistently paid according to regular pay periods, in which case that pay schedule controls. A complaint will be heard by a hearing officer if:

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentAdministrative Law
Tags: Employment AgreementsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Employers Must Exercise Caution in Developing Social Media Policies Aimed at Preventing Criticism of their Companies

With the recent widespread use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it is not surprising that most employees have a social media account. In response, many employers have implemented policies which expressly limit what activities employees are allowed to engage in on social media.

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Employment AgreementsBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithEmployee MisconductFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Alison F. Smith

WSH Labor Attorneys Achieve Arbitration Victory for Bay Harbor Islands

On February 1, 2013, the firm obtained an arbitration victory for the Town of Bay Harbor Islands in a case involving a claim by the Dade County Police Benevolent Association (the “Union”) that the Town violated its collective bargaining agreement with the Union when it unilaterally implemented a policy requiring all Town police officers and sergeants to wear bullet proof vests while on duty. Brett J. Schneider and Mia R. Martin defended the Town against the Union’s claim. The Town successfully argued that the Union had waived its right to challenge the policy by not timely filing a grievance regarding the implementation of the policy and that the Town’s implementation of that policy did not violate any provision of the parties’ agreement and was an extension of the Town’s management rights.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingAwards & RecognitionsBrett J. SchneiderFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMia R. Martin
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

Florida Division of Retirement Letters Signal Changes to Interpretation Regarding Use of Tax Revenues to Fund Pensions

Recently, the Florida Division of Retirement (the “Division”) issued letters to the Cities of Naples and Hollywood concerning those Cities’ eligibility for and use of future premium tax revenues to fund their respective police and fire pension obligations under Chapters 175 and 185, Florida Statutes. These letters reflect an important change to the Division’s previous position concerning a municipality’s eligibility for and use of premium tax revenues.

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingRaquel ElejabarrietaBrett J. SchneiderFlorida LegislatureFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

Florida Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Public Employee Pension Case

On September 7, the Florida Supreme Court (the “Court”) heard oral arguments concerning an appeal by state officials seeking to overturn a decision issued by state court Judge Jackie Fulford in Leon County, Florida that voided a law that, among other things, required public employees to contribute 3% of their pay into a state retirement system. The central issue in Scott v. Williams, SC122-520, is whether the state of Florida can revise the terms of the public pension plan for active participants who were hired before the law took effect. The State, along with local governments and other public entities that participate in the state retirement system, argued that the lower court’s decision will produce significant financial hardship for the State, which will have to repay an estimated $1 billion in worker contributions if the decision is upheld. No timetable was given for a decision from the Court.

 

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationConstitutional LawContracts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersSenate Bill 88Governmental LitigationFlorida Supreme CourtFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Achieves Significant Victory in Arbitration for Public Employer

On August 10, 2012, the firm obtained a significant arbitration victory for the City of Miramar in a case involving a former police officer who was terminated after he had been found to be psychologically unfit for duty by a City-appointed psychologist.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment Attorney
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider