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Brooke Ehrlich Gives Presentation to Florida Association of Managing Partners on “#MeToo in the Law Firm: Lessons For Managing Partners from the Post-Weinstein Reckoning.”

On September 12, 2018, Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman labor and employment attorney Brooke Ehrlich gave a presentation to the Florida Association of Managing Partners entitled, “#MeToo in the Law Firm: Lessons For Managing Partners from the Post-Weinstein Reckoning.”  The purpose of Brooke’s presentation was to discuss the impact and implications of the #MeToo movement, and to contemplate the lessons that managing partners can take away from it.

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Categories: Community Outreach
Tags: Fort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysEvent

FEMA Regulations on Exempt Employee Wages

In the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricane Irma, local governments may be eligible to receive reimbursement for labor costs directly related to a natural disaster under the Public Assistance (PA) Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In general, FEMA reimbursement of labor costs is available where the labor costs were necessary and reasonable to properly address the disaster. This is a multi-faceted analysis involving, among other items, FEMA’s review of local and national labor data, the specific circumstances of the employer at the time and employer documentation. In order to be eligible for reimbursement of labor costs, local governments must, at a minimum, have a written policy that was implemented prior to the natural disaster for which the employer seeks reimbursement of labor costs. Additionally, to be eligible for reimbursement, the employer’s policy should, at a minimum:

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Fort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law Attorneys

Alison Smith Speaks at Barry University

Labor & Employment Partner Alison Smith, spoke at Barry University on February 20th. Alison spoke on various labor and employment topics including diversity in the workplace, talent acquisition, performance management, among other interesting and important topics.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentCommunity Outreach
Tags: Fort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law Attorneys

Proposed Rule To Expand Family Medical Leave Act Protections To All Same-Sex Marriages

A new rule change proposed by the Department of Labor  expands the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
 

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentFederal Courts
Tags: Fort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysGrace M. Murillo

U.S. Senate Votes to Pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act

On November 7, 2013, the United States Senate approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)—proposed legislation that would extend federal employment discrimination protections currently provided based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity. ENDA, which is closely modeled on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the American with Disabilities Act, prohibits certain private and public employers from using an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity as the basis for employment decisions, such as hiring, firing, promotion, or compensation. While some states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual identity and/or gender identity, this vital piece of federal legislation will provide consistent protection for the LGBT community. All eyes are now on the House of Representatives to see if ENDA will make it to the floor to be put to a vote.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentFederal Law
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersFort 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

WSH Labor & Employment Attorneys Win Appeal For City of Lauderhill

On October 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed an award of summary judgment in favor of the City of Lauderhill in a seven count complaint filed against the City by Piertus Aristyld, a former City maintenance worker. In his complaint, the Plaintiff had alleged that the City: (1) discriminated against him on the basis of his age and national origin by failing to promote him; (2) retaliated against him for complaining that the failure to promote him was based on discriminatory animus by issuing unwarranted discipline; and (3) terminated his employment in retaliation for his complaint and because of his age and national origin.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationAppellate Law & Practice
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law 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 AttorneysEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFamily Medical Leave ActProtected ActivityFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

DOL Issues Clarification on Applicability of FLSA to Unpaid Internships

On September 12, the Department of Labor issued a clarification regarding its statement that law students may work as unpaid interns on pro bono matters at private law firms. Unpaid internships have become a hot button issue; in June, a federal judge for the Southern District of New York held that a major motion picture studio violated federal and State minimum wage laws when it failed to pay two interns for work they completed on the film “Black Swan” in 2009 and 2010. In a letter penned to the American Bar Association Immediate Past President Laurel G. Bellows, Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith explained that a law school student who performs work for his or her own educational benefit would not be considered an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) where the following criteria are met:

  1. The internship is similar to training that would have been given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under the supervision of existing staff;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to waves for the time spent in the internship.

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Categories: Labor and Employment
Tags: Brett J. SchneiderNational Labor Relations BoardFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Labor LawyersFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment LawyersFair Labor Standards Act
Author(s): Brett J.Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

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

EEOC Files Title VII Disparate Impact Discrimination Suits Against Two Large U.S. Corporations

On June 11, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that it had filed two lawsuits against two companies, BMW and Dolgencorp, in which it alleged that the companies violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by adopting criminal background checks that have a disparate impact on African American applicants.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationAdministrative Law
Tags: Employee MisconductFort 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 LawyersEqual Employment Opportunity Commission
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider

Supreme Court Tightens Definition of “Supervisor” in Title VII Employment Discrimination Claims

On June 24, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling that limits the definition of a “supervisor” as it relates to employer liability in harassment claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Title VII protects individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, and national origin. Under Title VII, an employer is only liable for the harassment of a co-worker if the employer was negligent in controlling workplace conditions. However, an employer may be liable for workplace harassment for the conduct of a supervisor if the harassment culminates in a tangible employment action, such as a significant change in employment status or a decision causing a significant change in benefits. In Vance v. Ball State University, 2013 WL 3155228 (U.S. Jun. 24, 2013), the Supreme Court held that an employee is a “supervisor” for purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII if he or she is empowered by the employer to take tangible employment action against the victim. The ruling has met with significant support from the business community, while opponents lament that it will make it harder for plaintiffs to advance harassment claims against their employers under Title VII.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaMatthew 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 LawyersFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider