A former Largo plumbing inspector is suing the city, claiming that officials violated a law meant to protect whistle-blowers by firing him in retaliation for a complaint he filed with a state agency.

According to the lawsuit, the man’s former bosses conspired to fire him in November after he accused city plans examiners of approving building plans without proper qualifications last summer in complaints to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

The city manager said the 57-year-old was fired based on several instances of misconduct unrelated to the complaint. According to a disciplinary report issued in November, the man improperly completed or didn’t complete building inspections. He also allegedly joked in an email that two city employees were involved in an affair.

According to the suit, the unlicensed activity resulted in a 911 call center being inoperable for the first two weeks it was open. It also caused faulty plumbing and electrical work in several large projects, including two Walmarts, a Wawa and an apartment complex.

The man filed complaints against four separate employees, according to reports.

To review aspects of a plan such as the electrical or plumbing work, an examiner must have a license in that discipline to ensure the project meets building code. The investigation found that one employee let someone review a plumbing plan on a house in Largo without a plumbing license.

The man hopes his lawsuit prevents any similar issues with his former department.

Blowing the whistle on illegal activities in your workplace is never easy. Sometimes doing the right thing can backfire and lead to retaliation and even termination.

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A nurse has filed a $6.5 million lawsuit against St. Petersburg General Hospital and parent company HCA Holdings for allegedly using a positive drug test as the reason for terminating her when she says the move was really in retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint.

The nurse was one of four African-American nurses employed at St. Petersburg General, which is owned by HCA. She was the only African-American charge nurse and filed a race discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2013.

However, when she slipped on a wet floor at that hospital, she had to submit to a urine drug screen. On May 23, 2014, she was told by the hospital that her drug test was positive and she was immediately suspended and then fired later that day.

Once notified of the test result, she obtained proof from her pharmacy that she possessed a prescription for the medication. Regardless, she was terminated.

The woman’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Middle District of Florida, comes after the EEOC issued her a “right to sue” letter on Nov. 3, 2016, after she made a new complaint for retaliation for her termination.

Florida state and federal laws protect workers against racial discrimination in the workplace. People of every national origin are legally entitled to work in an environment where they are treated equally. Employers have a duty to uphold policies that prevent racial discrimination in any form.

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Donald Trump’s visits to his South Florida estate since he was elected president have cost the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department $1.5 million in overtime costs.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is confident the money his department has spent while assisting the Secret Service will be reimbursed by the federal government.

The county sent letters to federal officials in December seeking reimbursement for the overtime security costs from Trump’s five-day visit to the estate called Mar-a-lago in November.

Those costs were originally estimated at $250,000, but Bradshaw said the total will be closer to $300,000. Based on the revised number, the security costs are amounting to about $60,000 a day during Trump’s visits to the county.

Aside from the five days in November, Trump stayed at Mar-a-lago 16 days in December. He has returned for two weekends so far in February.

The sheriff’s presidential detail is covered by overtime and doesn’t compromise law enforcement for the rest of the county.

Presidential visits aren’t unusual in Palm Beach County as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all made multiple visits for fundraisers, golf outings and campaign appearances.

But they didn’t involve extended stays.

In addition to the sheriff’s costs, West Palm Beach Chief Financial Officer Mark Parks estimated city police and fire rescue crews have incurred about $26,000 in overtime costs during Trump’s February visits.

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A Broward County employer is accused of not paying an air conditioning installer and duct cleaner the proper rate for overtime work.

The man filed a complaint on Jan. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against USA Air Duct Cleaners LLC.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that he worked for more than 40 hours without being paid any overtime compensation during his employment from April to October 2014. He holds USA Air Duct Cleaners LLC responsible because the they failed to pay him any overtime wages at a rate of time-and-one-half despite working more than 40 hours per week. According to the suit, he alleges he worked between 560 to 676 hours of overtime.

Overtime is defined by the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The compensation for hours worked more than 40 is 1.5 times the normal hourly rate. For example, if an employee makes $10 per hour, then they should be paid $15 per hour for all hours over 40 worked in that workweek. A work week is seven consecutive 24-hour periods, or 168 hours (24X7). The workweek can start on any day of the week.

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A Miami-Dade County woman formerly employed as an assistant manager claims she was wrongfully terminated for taking a medical leave.

The woman filed a complaint on Jan. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division against General Nutrition Corp. alleging violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

According to the complaint, the woman says that in 2016 she was terminated from her employment for asking for time off due to the complications from a surgery. She claims General Nutrition Corp. failed to notify her that her leave could be designated as FMLA leave.

When you are facing a serious illness, injury, or a family medical issue, you have rights as an employee to take care of yourself and your family. This is a stressful time and you should not have to worry about being fired or demoted. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides rights and protections to employees who must take absence from work for a qualifying illness or injury.

Keep in mind that disputes regarding an employee’s termination while on leave arise quite often. Employers will claim they acted within their rights to terminate, while the employee may claim the termination was illegal because it was only due to taking leave. This is why FMLA cases require the help of an employment attorney to gather the necessary evidence and prove the actual facts of what happened.

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Two Polk County residents said that they were not adequately compensated by a restaurant during their employment.

The two filed a complaint on behalf of all others similarly situated on Jan. 25 in the Tampa Division of the Middle District of Florida against Lakeland Chophouse LLC, doing business as Manny’s Original Chophouse.

According to the complaint, the two allege that they worked for more than 40 hours without being paid any overtime compensation during their employment. They hold Lakeland Chophouse LLC, doing business as Manny’s Original Chophouse, responsible because they also failed to pay minimum wages to the two employees and failed to keep an accurate record of their working hours.

It is actually common for employers to violate minimum wage and overtime laws when paying restaurant workers and tipped employees. The most frequent violations are:

  • Failing to give workers a paycheck. Some employers do not pay any wages and their servers work solely for tips. This is a violation of the FLSA.
  • Not paying minimum wage. Your employer must pay you minimum wage. Minimum wage is currently $8.10 an hour. For tipped employees, the minimum wage is $5.08 with a tip credit maximum of $3.02. However, if this $5.08 lower minimum wage plus the tips the employee actually earns doesn’t add up to at least the full state minimum wage ($8.10), the employer must make up the difference.
  • Making you share your tips with employees who do not receive tips. Your employer cannot legally make you share tips with managers, dishwashers, cooks, chefs, or janitors.
  • Requiring you to give a portion of your tips to the employer. An employer cannot legally keep any portion of your tips.
  • Not paying overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek or only paying time-and-a-half of the server rate and not the full minimum wage.
  • Making you work off the clock. An employer cannot make you perform any work duties without pay.

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A case manager at Amerigroup Corp. alleges she was denied overtime time as required by law and has filed a class-action suit.

The woman filed a complaint on behalf of all others similarly situated on Jan. 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Amerigroup Corp.

According to the complaint, the woman claims that she worked for more than 40 hours per week without being paid any overtime compensation.

Both federal and Florida state wage and hour laws are quite technical and have various exemptions. With that said, these cases require legal representation so that your interests and rights are protected. If you think you have a valid claim for minimum wages or unpaid overtime, you should let our Fort Lauderdale Unpaid Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton help you.

Your consultation with us is free. We will do our best to maximize your recovery to your hard earned wages. If you have co-workers with the same problem, we can bring a class action lawsuit against your employer to recover everyone’s money at the same time.

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A man says he was terminated in retaliation by a Miami-Dade County business because of a lawsuit that was filed by two other employees.

The man filed a complaint on Jan. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida citing the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the man alleges he was hired by the company to film and edit video taken during seminars and procedures in November 2012. He goes on to claim that he was terminated on Nov. 18, 2016, without reason, and that he was never paid overtime pay for work that exceeded 40 hours per week.

The man holds the Miami-Dade County business responsible because they terminated his employment because of his association with two other employees that filed a lawsuit against the defendants alleging wage violations.

He is seeking actual damages, unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, all legal fees and any other relief as the court deems just.

If you have been fired without reason, it is only natural that you seek justification and perhaps feel inclined to sue for wrongful termination. In some states, like New Jersey and California, employers must have cause to fire you. However, this is not the case in Florida. Florida is an at-will state, meaning that an employer may fire, demote, hire, promote and discipline employees for pretty much any reason, or they may have no reason at all.

Most employees have some type of inkling as to why they were fired. If you brought up not being paid overtime or made a wage claim against your employer and were fired a week later, that is a good indication that you were fired in retaliation for making a claim.

The best course of action when terminated, especially when you believe there was no cause, is to let our Florida Wrongful Termination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton discuss your options with you. We can investigate into your claims and help you understand the best course of action.

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A Miami construction worker alleges he is owed unpaid overtime wages from his former employer.

The man a complaint on behalf of all others similarly situated on Jan. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against CMG Development LLC, citing the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the man claims that he worked for more than 40 hours without being paid any overtime compensation during his employment from June 2013 to February 2016. He holds CMG Development LLC responsible because the company allegedly failed to pay him any overtime premiums for hours worked that exceeds 40 at a rate of time-and-one-half.

He is seeking double damages, all overtime wages still owing, and all legal fees plus interest.

If you think that you are owed overtime and your employer has not paid you, you may have a claim for unpaid overtime. Sometimes employers will tell their employees that they are not entitled to overtime pay when they actually are. There are thousands of workers throughout Florida and the rest of the U.S. who are not receiving overtime pay from their employers even though the law clearly states they should be collecting overtime wages. Our Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you if you have been unfairly denied overtime pay.

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A Broward County man alleges a Plantation restaurant only paid his regular wage rate for overtime hours and that he was retaliated against for complaining about the pay practices.

The man filed a complaint on behalf of himself and other similarly situated individuals on Jan. 4 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

According to the complaint, the man claims that on Nov. 10, 2016, his work hours were reduced and he was subsequently terminated by the company in retaliation for his demand to be adequately paid overtime wages for hours worked in excess of 40. The man holds the company accountable because they allegedly failed to pay plaintiff for overtime compensation at the correct rate and failed to maintain proper time records of all hours worked.

He is seeking actual damages for unpaid overtime wages, interest, double/liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, costs of suit, and further relief as the court deems just.

If you have recently been fired and believe that you have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit, our Florida Wrongful Termination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We are committed to getting justice for our clients, which is why we will launch an immediate investigation into your claims to determine if you have a valid claim. We know how unfair it can be to lose your job due to retaliation or discrimination, which is why we will fight for your rights and make sure we do everything in our power to help you achieve a successful outcome for the injustice you have suffered.

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