A former employee is suing BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy Services Inc. for alleged breach of contract, gender discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation.

The woman filed a complaint on July 21 in the Orange Circuit Court against Bioplus Specialty Pharmacy Services Inc., alleging that the company breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing.

According to the complaint, the woman alleges that she suffered damages on April 18, 2016 due to the company’s alleged unlawful employment practices and discrimination because of her gender, including allegedly reducing in her compensation by half, which forced her to resign.

She holds the company responsible for allegedly creating intolerable working conditions for her, and for allegedly interfering with her contractual rights to enjoy the same benefits and privileges as other employees.

Gender discrimination in the workplace entails failing to hire someone or firing someone because of their sex or gender. It can also include failing to promote worthy candidates, paying less salary to a worker of one sex or one gender identification than another, creating a hostile work environment, and any other acts of unlawful discrimination. If you have experienced any of the above scenarios or have been treated unfairly at work, you may be the victim of discrimination.

Our Florida Discrimination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have proven experience protecting the rights of all workers in our state. We represent residents in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Ocala, Gainesville, Jacksonville, and everywhere in between. We understand what acts constitute gender discrimination and what rights and remedies are allotted to employees. We work tirelessly to help workers recover financial damages for their suffering.

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Americans spend more time than ever before at work. Work consumes the vast majority of our time, so a problem in the workplace can have a devastating impact on an employee and their family. This could not be more true when an employee is the victim of sexual harassment, as the case below demonstrates.

Ford Motor Co. has agreed to pay up to $10.125 million to settle an investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over alleged sex and race harassment at two Ford plants, the federal agency announced.

In its investigation, the EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that personnel at two Ford facilities in the Chicago area had subjected female and African-American employees to sexual and racial harassment.

The EEOC also found that the company retaliated against employees who complained about the harassment or discrimination.

Ford chose to voluntarily resolve this issue with the EEOC, without admission of liability, to avoid an extended dispute.

The conciliation agreement provides monetary relief of up to $10.125 million to those who are found eligible through a claims process established by the agreement.

The agreement also ensures that during the next five years, Ford will conduct regular training at two of its Chicago-area facilities; continue to disseminate its anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures to employees and new hires; report to EEOC regarding complaints of harassment and/or related discrimination; and monitor its workforce regarding issues of alleged sexual or racial harassment and related discrimination.

Sexual harassment can occur in the workplace as what is called hostile work environment sexual harassment, which includes sexual gestures, physical touching, verbal or written sexual remarks, sexual jokes, and displaying sexual pictures. Sexual harassment can also occur when an employee is persuaded to perform sexual favors in return for keeping their job or getting a promotion or other work benefit.

Whatever the form of abuse, sexual harassment is not only demoralizing, but also humiliating. It can have a drastic impact on the lives of victims, causing psychological harm and financial insecurity. No employee should ever have to endure sexual harassment.

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The Florida First District Court of Appeal has overturned an order in a workers’ compensation case, ruling that a worker forfeited his right to benefits for a workplace accident after he offered conflicting details about his medical history and the cause of his injuries.

Cal-Maine Foods had appealed the ruling by the Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) to reject multiple defenses to compensability of a work accident and related benefits.

The case originated from an accident that occurred on Nov. 2, 2014. A man was working for Cal-Maine Foods when the brakes failed on a front-end loader he was driving. He jumped from the machine and was injured.

There was conflicting testimony as to whether the man reported any injuries to the company at the time of the accident.

Cal-Maine later fired the man for reasons unrelated to the accident.

In August 2015, following the termination, the man filed a petition for benefits, seeking payment of temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits and authorization of a neurological/orthopedic physician to evaluate and treat his lower back symptoms.

The man listed the November 2014 accident as the basis for the injuries.

During his first deposition in May 2015, the man testified that the injuries resulting from the work accident included a broken nose, orbital fractures, concussion with brain injury and herniated discs of the neck and lower back. He requested surgery for facial fractures and treatment for his neck and back.

In his testimony, the man said that when he jumped from the machine, he hit his left shoulder on the rear left tire, which spun him around causing him to strike his face on asphalt. He described injuries specifically to the right eye and socket as well as bleeding scrapes over his left eye.

During a second deposition seven months later, the man gave sworn testimony that his injuries from the accident included the eye socket, nose, neck, middle and lower back. However, he advised that as of the second deposition, his nose and eye injuries had healed. He complained of constant neck pain.

The man didn’t seek medical treatment after the accident. He waited until a month after his termination, which occurred two months after the November 2014 accident.

The man received initial medical treatment on Jan. 22, 2015 at Shands Hospital. He claimed to have a head injury and pain that affected his memory and resulted in a headache after he was hit in the head with a baseball bat eight days before coming to the hospital.

During the second deposition when confronted with the hospital records, the man testified that his description of the baseball bat incident was false and contrived. He asserted he later “corrected” this false account and told the hospital staff the injuries actually occurred from an accident at work.

On Feb. 4, 2015, the worker proceeded to the Wesley Chapel Hospital Emergency Room, where he was seen for facial pain, advising medical personnel that he received a facial fracture “one month earlier.”

The man requested pain medications and denied back pain or headaches. He did not report a work accident.

In March 2015, the man was evaluated by a neurologist. He complained of neck, middle and lower back pain and confusion due to the work accident. At that evaluation, he denied any history of neck or back pain or similar injuries before the accident. He didn’t mention the baseball bat incident.

On Nov. 11, 2015, the man got an examination from a neurosurgeon. He complained of pain radiating down his right leg, lower back, cervical spine, shoulder and right facial pain. During this evaluation, he claimed the Nov. 2, 2014 accident was the source of his symptoms.

Although the JCC determined that the man had committed multiple misrepresentations in his testimony, the JCC ultimately declined to terminate his entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. The appellate court, however, disagreed and reversed its ruling.

Each year, thousands of people are involved in work-related accidents in the workplace. In many cases, these injuries can have serious financial consequences in addition to creating health issues that could keep employees from earning a living and supporting their families for certain periods of time.

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A former employee is suing Fields Motorcars of Florida Inc. for alleged age discrimination and wrongful termination.

The man filed a complaint on June 27 in the Orange County Circuit Court, alleging that Fields Motorcars of Florida Inc. breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that he suffered economic damages on Jan. 26, 2016 as a result of being terminated from his employment. He was allegedly fired due to a single complaint from a customer about his driving.

The man holds Fields Motorcars of Florida Inc. responsible for allegedly acting with malice and reckless disregard for his protected rights, and for allegedly terminated him in bad faith without reasonable grounds.

State and federal laws are set in place to prevent employers from discriminating against individuals or treating them unfairly in the workplace based on factors such as age, gender, race, national origin, and religion. Florida law is quite clear: mistreating workers is unfair and any type of discrimination is illegal. Employers who mistreat their workers can be subjected to various civil and sometimes even criminal punishments.

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A Broward County tax return preparer pleaded guilty recently to conspiring to file and filing fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to documents filed with the court, the 41-year-old man owned two tax preparation businesses in Lauderhill with two other men.

From approximately 2010 through 2016, the three men apparently filed fraudulent returns for their clients seeking refunds to which the clients were not entitled, by reporting fictitious business income, fraudulent education and fuel tax credits and claiming deceased individuals as dependents. They also filed returns in the names of individuals whose identities had been stolen. The man apparently admitted to causing a tax loss of more than $550,000.

The man is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 6. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy count and a maximum sentence of three years in prison on the false return count. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

The other two men involved are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 22.

The Tax fraud involved in the above discussed scheme involve some sort of data breach to gain access to employee’s W-2’s. There are several simple things you can do to avoid being victimized and protect your employees’ data, including::

  • Control access to payroll data and other sensitive information. Make sure that only people who really need sensitive data information have access to it. Limiting who can see this information, can eliminate any breaches.
  • Consider requiring a second step to authenticate requests for sensitive data before it can be released. A lot of these breaches happen when employees divulge other employees’ W-2 information to criminals. Should someone request W-2 information, it is beneficial to implement protocol that that employee speak to the person requesting the information before releasing it.
  • Make employees aware of various scams circulating regarding data security. Arm your employees with any “red flag” information so that they know when something seems odd. Always encourage them to ask questions or get help if something does not seem right.

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A former employee has filed a lawsuit against his former South Florida employer, citing alleged unpaid wages.

The man filed a complaint on June 16 in the Broward County Circuit Court, alleging that his former employer failed its duty to pay employees for all hours they worked at the correct rate.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that he and other similarly situated employees have suffered loss of earnings for working additional hours in excess of 40 per week without being compensated at the statutory rate of 1.5 times their regular hourly rate.

The man holds his former employer responsible for allegedly failing to properly compensate their employees for overtime work.

Powerful and clear labor laws are in place to protect employees’ rights to receive poper pay for all work performed, which includes overtime. Our Fort Lauderdale Unpaid Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton help people working in a broad range of positions throughout Broward County and the surrounding communities. You deserve your full pay for hours worked and for commission, vacation pay and sick time earned. We know what your wage and hour law rights are and we can help you fight for what is owed to you.

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A Pinellas County woman alleges that she suffered discrimination and harassment because of her gender while working for her former employer.

According to the woman’s complaint, she alleges she was employed as a buyer and produce manager from January 2014 until her forced resignation/constructive discharge on Jan. 7, 2016. She alleges that a co-worker attempt to grope her on Jan. 7, 2016, and that the co-worker was not reprimanded or investigated.

She is seeking reinstatement, unpaid wages, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs of this action.

While some people claim to be “huggers” or “touchy-feely,” please understand that no one has a right to hug or touch you if you are not OK with it. Unwelcome touching of a sexual nature is classified as sexual harassment under the law.

If you have been subjected to inappropriate touching in the workplace, our Pinellas County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you take action to make it stop and hold the responsible party accountable. We will help you assert your right and seek financial damages for the personal trauma as well as financial impact the sexual harassment endured has placed on you.

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A jury has awarded $4.5 million to a former employee who sued an Iowa hospital for age bias and retaliation.

The jury’s July 24 decision came after a 10-day trial of Grinnell Regional Medical Center and two administrators. The lawsuit states that the hospital fired the man in June 2015 from his post as lab director while in remission from breast cancer and hired a younger replacement.

It is believed that the man was targeted because he’d declined an order to retire following his initial diagnosis in November 2013.

The hospital’s attorneys deny the firing and subsequent hiring of a new director had anything to do with the man’s age or cancer diagnosis. A hospital spokeswoman says the hospital intends to appeal.

Discrimination in the workplace is not only unfair, but also illegal. There are several different federal laws that offer protection from discrimination based on disability, race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Age discrimination has its own unique set of laws called the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Job applicants and employees who are over the age of 40 are usually covered by the ADEA.

Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person over 40 because of their age when it comes to:  

  • hiring
  • firing
  • promotion
  • layoff
  • compensation
  • benefits
  • job assignments
  • training

Moreover, employees who speak out against age discrimination have legal protection from retaliation.

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An overtime lawsuit by hourly night-shift employees of a Chipotle restaurant in Minnesota who allegedly worked without pay while closing the restaurant can proceed as a collective action, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota ruled.

Chipotle operates more than 2,100 restaurants in 46 states and the District of Columbia, as well as internationally. In 2014, four hourly employees of a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. in Crystal, Minn., filed a lawsuit in the District of Minnesota against Chipotle on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA).

They claimed that Chipotle has a companywide unwritten policy of requiring hourly paid employees to work off the clock and without pay, and they sought to recover allegedly unpaid overtime compensation and other wages.

Each Chipotle is also managed by a general manager, one or more “apprentice managers” who serve as assistant managers, one or more service managers, and one or more kitchen managers, and has 15 to 50 crew members.

A Crystal Chipotle apprentice manager from April 2012 to October 2013, filed a declaration in a related lawsuit against Chipotle in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado that his superiors knew that the general managers and apprentice managers in the 50-store area required hourly employees to work off the clock to meet Chipotle’s requirement that they keep labor costs down. He stated that he was directed to clock out hourly night-shift crew members before 12:30 a.m. and require them to keep working after they clocked out.

Chipotle argued to have the case decertified, but ultimately, the court denied Chipotle’s motion to decertify the collective action.

You can read more about the case here.

It is illegal to force hourly employees to work off the clock. When a group of employees are seeking damages for unpaid overtime or minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act, they can file together in what is called a collective action lawsuit. Collective action lawsuits have many advantages over filing alone. These lawsuits work to increase the efficiency of the legal process and lower legal costs for all parties by grouping the plaintiffs together.

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A judge has ordered Google to hand over salary records to the government in an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Labor (DoL), which has accused Google of discriminating against women.

Google must provide the federal government with a 2014 snapshot of the data, along with contact information for thousands of employees for possible interviews, according to a ruling made public on Sunday.

Judge Steve Berlin also denied part of the government’s request for records and partially sided with Google, which had argued the department’s demands were overly broad and could violate employee privacy.

The limited records Google must release could help the DoL build a formal pay discrimination case against the company. The department argued that additional records would help explain the “extreme” gender pay gap it uncovered in an initial audit.

The DoL first publicly accused Google of “systemic compensation disparities” in April, testifying in a hearing that its preliminary investigation found that women across a wide range of positions at the Mountain View campus were paid less than men.

Google has vehemently denied that it discriminates against women, publicly claiming it has closed its gender pay gap globally. In a Sunday blog post, Google said it was “pleased” with the decision and would comply with the order, providing the “much more limited data set of information”.

discrimination and sexism in recent months, including Tesla, Palantir, Oracle and smaller startups across Silicon Valley.

Employment law covers many aspects of an employee’s relationship with an employer. Employment laws exist to protect employees from being discriminated against or harassed in the workplace. Our Florida Employment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you determine if you have a legal claim against your employer and walk you through the proper steps to take.

Every employment law case is different and involves a unique set of facts. The laws are complicated, requiring a careful in-depth review to determine if you have a valid claim.

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