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Federal Judge Holds Florida Executive Order Requiring Drug Testing for State Workers Unconstitutional

Today U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro ruled that Governor Rick Scott’s Executive Order 11-58 providing for pre-employment drug testing and random drug testing of state employees violates the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. See American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 79 v. Rick Scott, Case No. 11-civ-21976-UU. “To be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, a search ordinarily must be based on individualized suspicion of wrongdoing,” Judge Ungaro wrote in her order, citing previous U.S. Supreme Court orders that ruled that urine tests are considered government searches.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationGovernment AffairsFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersGovernmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth 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 LawyersMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

EEOC Placing Greater Focus on Remedying "Systemic" Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") recently announced its strategic plan for fiscal years 2012-2016 where it indicated that it will focus more on remedying systemic discrimination.    The EEOC describes systemic cases as those “that address pattern or practice, policy or class cases where the alleged discrimination has a broad impact on an industry, occupation, business or geographic area.” The crux of a systemic case is that the alleged discrimination affects a group of individuals rather than one individual.  According to the strategic plan, by the end of fiscal year 2016 a percent (yet to be determined) of cases in the EEOC’s docket will be systemic cases.  This, according to the strategic plan, will provide the EEOC with an incentive to conduct systemic investigations. 

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsAdministrative Law
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaEmployee MisconductMatthew 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 AttorneysMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

Founding Member Richard Jay Weiss to Speak at Good Government Initiative

On March 22, Founding Member Richard Jay Weiss will be speaking at the Good Government Initiative as part of a four member panel discussing “The Tension over Pensions: Good Public Policy or Obsolete Extravagance?” The Good Government Initiative is a program that provides early-career elected and appointed officials with leadership training and community conversations with the public to consider issues important to governance in the community. The Good Government Initiative was founded by former Miami-Dade Commissioner Katy Sorenson, who will serve as the moderator for the upcoming panel.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentContracts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingSunshine LawGovernmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentEthicsSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentAwards & RecognitionsMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinUnemployment CompensationEmployee MisconductNational Labor Relations BoardFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort 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 Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Florida Employers Take Note....Eleventh Circuit Holds Pre-Eligibility Notice of Post-Eligibility Leave Is Protected Activity Under FMLA

In a case of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Court”) has held that the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) protects employees’ pre-eligibility requests for post-eligibility leave. The case, Pereda v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., ---- F. 3d -----, 2012 WL 43271 (11th Cir. Jan. 10, 2012), should provide guidance to Florida employers dealing with the question of whether an employee is engaging in “protected activity” under the FMLA.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal Courts
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute 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 AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFamily Medical Leave ActProtected ActivityFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Successfully Defends Golden Beach in Labor Arbitration

Last week, WSH obtained a significant arbitration victory for the Town of Golden Beach in a case involving a former police officer who was terminated for sleeping on the job.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentContractsAlternative Dispute Resolution
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysAlternative Dispute ResolutionFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

NLRB Changes Procedures to Speed Up Union Elections; Employer-Friendly Organizations Respond With Lawsuit

On December 21, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) published a new Rule that will change the procedures for private sector union representation elections.  The Rule, which will take effect on April 30, 2012, shortens the time period between the initial filing of the election petition and the election, unless the parties stipulate to the election date. As a result, the Rule eliminates pre-suit challenges to NLRB rulings such as the appropriate bargaining unit and which workers are eligible to vote in an election.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationGovernment Affairs
Tags: Employment AgreementsGovernmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute 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 AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law Attorneys
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

Changes to Florida Statutes Place Greater Restrictions on Public Employee Bonuses and Severance Pay

On June 17, 2011, Governor Scott signed Senate Bill 88 (the “Bill”) into law, which amends Section 215.425, Florida Statutes, in two material ways. As summarized below, the Bill contains significant restrictions on bonuses and severance pay for public employees.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal Government
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersSenate Bill 88Mitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaChad S. FriedmanBrett J. SchneiderRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation Lawyers
Author(s): Raquel Elejabarrieta

PERC Victory for WSHPC&B Attorneys Brett J. Schneider and Raquel Elejabarrieta

The Florida Public Employees Relations Commission ("PERC") issued a Final Order yesterday dismissing an International Union of Painters and Allied Trades' unfair labor practice charge against the City of Deerfield Beach. Brett J. Schneider and Raquel Elejabarrieta represented the City in the unfair labor practice proceeding before PERC.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLocal Government
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentRaquel ElejabarrietaBrett J. Schneider
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

New Bonus And Severance Pay Restrictions For Public Employees Starts Now

On June 17, 2011, the Governor signed Senate Bill 88, which limits the amount of severance and/or bonus a governmental entity may provide to a contractual employee. The law explicitly provides that no extra compensation shall be made to any officer, agent, employee or contractor after service has been rendered or a contract entered into unless the compensation is allowed by a law enacted by two-thirds of both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. Although contracts entered into before July 1, 2011 are grandfathered, municipalities, counties and other units of government in Florida will be required to comply with the new restrictions limiting the availability of bonuses and severance pay for contractual employees.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal Government
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersSenate Bill 88Mitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaChad S. FriedmanBrett J. SchneiderRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysFort 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 Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

WSHPC&B Wins Arbitration Victory For Public Employer

On June 29, 2011, our Firm obtained a significant arbitration victory for the City of Lauderhill in a labor dispute with AFSCME Local 2942. Brett J. Schneider and Alison F. Smith successfully defended the City against claims that the City violated its collective bargaining agreement when it laid off several employees without honoring their right to "bump" (replace) employees in the same classification with less seniority. In his decision, the arbitrator stated that the evidence showed that the City acted in good faith and was faithful to its contractual responsibilities under the agreement.

Click here to read the Opinion & Final Award.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentGovernment AffairsLocal Government
Tags: Public EmployeesEmployment AgreementsPublic EmployersCollective BargainingBrett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort 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 Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida 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
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara