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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

Mandatory Contribution by Public Employees of 3% Earnings to FRS Declared Unconstitutional

In a long awaited opinion, Judge Jackie Fulford issued a decision on March 6, 2012, in which shedeclared unconstitutional a requirement that government employees in Florida contribute 3% of their earnings to a state retirement fund (i.e., the Florida Retirement System). Judge Fulford wrote in her opinion that the Legislature committed “an unconstitutional impairment of plaintiff’s contract with the State of Florida, an unconstitutional taking of private property without full compensation, and an abridgement of the rights of public employees to collectively bargain over conditions of employment.” This ruling could cost the state more than $1 billion a year. The ruling does not impact the 3% contribution to the state retirement fund from employees hired after July 1, 2011, when the law went into place.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationConstitutional LawContracts
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersCollective BargainingGovernmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMatthew 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 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 & Raquel Elejabarrieta

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

DBR Recognizes WSH as One of the Ten Most Diverse Law Firms in South Florida

On January 23, the Daily Business Review released the names of the 25 most diverse law firms in South Florida.  This year, WSH was named the 10th most diverse firm, coming ahead of large law firms such as Greenberg Traurig, Akerman Senterfitt, and Becker & Poliakoff. 

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Categories: Awards & Recognitions
Tags: Awards & RecognitionsDaniel L. AbbottLillian M. ArangoSara E. AulisioMitchell A. BiermanNina L. BoniskeGary L. BrownMitchell J. BurnsteinJonathan CohenJamie A. ColeJeffrey DeCarloIgnacio G. Del ValleBrooke P. DolaraRaquel ElejabarrietaChad S. FriedmanAlan L. GabrielDouglas R. GonzalesEdward G. GuedesStephen J. HelfmanEric P. HockmanHarlene Silvern KennedyJoshua D. KrutKathryn M. MehaffeyAleida Martinez MolinaAlexander L. Palenzuela-MauriGilberto PastorizaMatthew J. PearlMichael S. PopokTimothy M. RavichAnthony L. RecioAmy J. SantiagoBrett J. SchneiderClifford A. SchulmanDaniel A. SeigelGail D. SerotaJoseph H. SerotaJonathan C. ShamresEstrellita S. SibilaAlison F. SmithAnthony C. SorokaEduardo M. SotoJoanna D. ThomsonSusan L. TrevarthenPeter D. WaldmanRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellJames E. WhiteDavid M. WolpinSamuel I. ZeskindFort 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 LawMiami Aviation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Airport LawSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersSouth Florida Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Private Transactions LawyersFort Lauderdale Private Transactions AttorneysMiami Private Transactions AttorneysSouth Florida Public Transactions LawFort Lauderdale Public Transactions LawMiami Public Transactions Law Matthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysScope of the Project RuleFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Bankruptcy AttorneysMiami Bankruptcy AttorneysSouth Florida Bankruptcy AttorneysFort Lauderdale Real Estate AttorneysMiami Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Real Estate AttorneysMiami Commercial Real Estate AttorneysSouth Florida Commercial Real Estate AttorneysFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysRobert MeyersAdrian J. AlvarezAlternative Dispute ResolutionJohanna M. LundgrenFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Construction LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Real Estate LawyerFort Lauderdale Tax AttorneyMiami Construction LawyerMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Eminent Domain AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneyMiami Real Estate LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Citing Religious Freedom, Supreme Court Backs Church In Discriminatory Discharge Case

On January 11, the United States Supreme Court held for the first time that federal discrimination laws do not protect church employees who perform religious duties. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2012 WL 75047 (Jan. 11, 2007), the Court recognized that the “ministerial exception” under the First Amendment protects religious institutions from discriminatory discharge where the former employee qualifies as a “minister.” Although the term “minister” is not strictly defined, the term may apply to those who conduct worship or serve as a messenger or teacher of faith.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew 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 AttorneysFirst AmendmentFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth 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

Important Changes to Florida's Unemployment Compensation Laws

On June 27, 2011, Governor Rick Scott signed new legislation amending Florida’s unemployment compensation law.  As we reported in our August 26 blog post, the new laws significantly expand the definition of employee misconduct.  The amendments also have important consequences for employee severance pay.

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Brett J. SchneiderAlison F. SmithUnemployment CompensationEmployee MisconductSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersFort 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 & Alison F. Smith

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

Because Social Media is Discoverable, Businesses Should Take Precautions to Limit Liability

Social media sites and blogs have become increasingly popular among employees for firm marketing and business purposes. These marketing activities offer employers great potential exposure; an August 2011 Nielsen Company study found that Americans spend approximately one-fourth of their time online on social networking sites and blogs. Although these marketing activities can provide employers with positive exposure, social media sites can create a significant litigation risk for companies when employees engage in inappropriate activity online.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigation
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaDiscoveryEvidenceEmployee MisconductFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth 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 Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara