A former supervisor in Adam Putnam’s Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services sued the agency in 2013, claiming “gross misconduct” in the handling of gun permit applications. The woman also claims that quotas for approving concealed weapon permits “guaranteed abuse,” according to reports.

In a whistle-blower lawsuit filed in a Leon County circuit court, the former chief of the Bureau of License Issuance, said she was threatened with retaliation for saying workers were deficient in processing licensing applications, and that her bosses told her she “worked for the NRA (National Rifle Association).”

The agency denied most of the woman’s allegations in court filings. But in a settlement signed in 2016, the agency agreed to pay $30,000, without admitting wrongdoing, including a $10,000 lump sum payment to the woman and $20,000 for her attorney’s fees and costs.

The False Claims Act allows a person or organization to bring a lawsuit against a government company that receives public funds after they have witnessed an act of fraud against the government. Taking legal action like this is called qui tam and the plaintiffs are known as whistleblowers, hence the name whistleblower suit.

Whistleblower suits often involve illegal kickbacks, Medicare fraud, FDA regulation violations, financial fraud claims involving the Dodd-Frank Act, and claims that fall under the IRS whistleblower reward program. A whistleblower can be awarded between 15 and 30 percent of the overall recovery of a successful qui tam lawsuit. This amount can add up to millions of dollars.

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A Miami Beach medical transport company is accused again of shorting workers on overtime pay. This time, it cost them $222,059 in back pay.

The company paid 53 employees an average of $4,189.79 after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found that the company has a problem obeying some parts of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

“(Wage and Hour) investigators determined that Miami Beach Medical Transport LLC failed to pay drivers for time they spent working from home confirming appointments with patients for the following day’s route,” the Department of Labor said in a Wednesday release. “The employer also automatically deducted 30 minutes from employees’ timecards for lunch each day, whether or not employees were actually able to take those breaks.”

A Miami Beach Medical Group employee named filed an unpaid overtime lawsuit in 2012. The suit was dismissed without prejudice in February 2013 for failure to prosecute.

A similar lawsuit was filed by a driver in 2017. The July 11, 2017 settlement says Miami Beach Medical Transport officially denies all of the man’s claims. However, the company paid the man $1,775 to cover his unpaid wages, $2,225 in damages, and $3,500 for Diaz’s attorney’s fees.

The Fair Labor Standards Act has set forth strict standards for employers. If your employer has not paid you in compliance with overtime or minimum wage laws, you are entitled to pursue an unpaid wage claim. Our South Florida Unpaid Overtime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton know you work hard for your money, which is why we have a passion for representing clients against large companies and organizations recover what they rightfully deserve. The law has the power to hold anyone accountable for their wrongful actions, and we want to help you fight for what you are owed.

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A man who worked as Donald Trump’s personal driver for a quarter of a century filed suit against the president’s company on Monday.

He says he wasn’t paid for thousands of hours of overtime.

The man, who served as Trump’s personal driver for more than 25 years and gave up the responsibility after the Secret Service took on the role in 2016, said he was owed overtime wages for about 3,300 hours of driving over the past six years.

Over a 25-year period, the man says he worked 50 to 55 hours a week and earned a base salary but was never paid overtime for the time he worked beyond 40 hours per week.

The suit lists the Trump Organization as a defendant but not Trump himself.

If you are not being paid for all overtime worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek, your employer may be violating the Fair Labor Standard Act. Federal law requires employees who have worked over 40 hours in a week to receive one and a half times their normal pay rate. Moreover, if your employer knowingly refuses to pay you overtime wages, you are entitled to the amount owed to you. You could also recover additional funds such as liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees.

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An African-American employee is suing St. Petersburg, alleging discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination.

The man filed a complaint June 12 in Pinellas Circuit Court against the city of St. Petersburg, alleging violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 30, 2016, the man was terminated from his employment in the city’s Water Resources Department where he has been the first African-American interim director. He says he has suffered loss of employment, loss of income, privileges and benefits, mental and emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment and damage to his professional reputation.

The man alleges St. Petersburg unlawfully discriminated against him based upon his race and terminated him in retaliation for reporting unlawful discrimination, allegedly his salary being less than whites who held the same position as interim director.

He seeks trial by jury, reinstatement to the equivalent position, actual and compensatory damages of more than $15,000, attorney fees, costs and all proper and just relief.

Even in this day and age, sadly racial discrimination is still rampant in the United States, especially at work. Our Tampa Bay Discrimination Attorneys at Whittel & Melton fight aggressively to put an end to racist policies and practices in the workplace.

Racial discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your race, whatever race that may be, let us help you.

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A Pinellas County man alleges he was wrongfully terminated by a timeshare sales company in Orange County while out on medical leave.

The man filed a complaint on April 26 in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Orange County against Hilton Grand Vacations Club LLC alleging Family and Medical Leave Act interference and retaliation.

According to the complaint, the man began working for the company in October 2016 and submitted paperwork for FMLA leave in November 2017 to care for a medical condition. He alleges he was terminated in January with an effective date of Dec. 21, 2017, for absenteeism.

He holds Hilton Grand Vacations Club LLC responsible because the company interfered with his rights under the FMLA.

Under the FMLA, it is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee in retaliation for taking FMLA leave or attempting to exercise his or her FMLA rights.Employers are also prohibited from interfering with, restraining, or denying an employee’s exercise of his or her FMLA rights.  

To establish a claim for FMLA interference, an employee must prove the following:

  • They are an eligible employee
  • The employer is a covered employer
  • They are entitled to take FMLA leave
  • Notice of the employee’s intention to take the FMLA leave was given to the employer
  • The employee was denied a benefit they are entitled under the FMLA

In order to establish a claim for FMLA retaliation, an employee must prove the following:

  • They engaged in a protected activity
  • Adverse job action was taken against them
  • There is a causal connection between the activity and the adverse job action

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc settled a lawsuit on Wednesday by a transgender former employee in North Carolina who accused the retail giant of unlawfully firing her for complaining about harassment.

Wal-Mart did not disclose the terms of the settlement in a joint filing agreeing to dismiss the case in federal court in Greensboro, North Carolina. The company did not admit to wrongdoing.

Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the company does not tolerate discrimination.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, a nonprofit that represents the former employee, said they sued Wal-Mart in December, after the employee’s coworkers at a Kannapolis, North Carolina, Sam’s Club store called her “sir,” “that thing with an attitude” and “shim,” a slur combining “she” and “him.” The former employee also said her male boss subjected her to unwanted physical advances and referred to her as “it.”

Wal-Mart owns Sam’s Club.

The former worker started at the store in March 2004, and began presenting as a woman at work in 2008, according to her lawsuit.

She said she was fired in March 2015 in retaliation for complaining to supervisors about harassment, and because they believed that she suffered from “gender dysphoria,” or distress with the sex she was assigned at birth.

She accused Wal-Mart of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

When the lawsuit was filed, the TLDEF said that companies like Wal-Mart should not only have strong anti-discrimination policies, but also make sure they are enforced.

Transgender is used to describe a person whose gender identity or gender expression is not what society typically associated with the sex that was assigned to them at birth. While this specific case takes place in North Carolina, our Florida Discrimination Attorneys at Whittel & Melton would like to address how this pertains to Florida where employment is generally at will. Regardless of that fact, wrongful termination based on transgender discrimination is unlawful and may form the basis of a lawsuit. Our Discrimination Lawyers may be able to assist employees who have received a wrongful termination.

Florida is an “at will” state, which means that an employer may terminate an employee for no reason or any reason, even if the reason seems unfair to the employee. However, when someone is fired based on an employee’s membership in a particular class of people protected under anti-discrimination laws, the termination is then considered a wrongful termination, which means the employee may sue to recover damages related to the termination.

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A former employee is suing The Transition House Inc., alleging they failed to pay overtime, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The woman filed a complaint May 9 in the Pinellas Circuit Court against The Transition House alleging that the Florida company failed its duty to pay employees for all hours worked.

According to the complaint, the woman says that she has suffered lost earnings from the company’s wrongful practice of denying her with earned wages for all overtime hours worked and for all meal breaks not taken.

She holds The Transition House responsible because they allegedly failed to properly apprise its employees of their rights under the FLSA, failed to keep or provide an accurate record of its employees’ hours worked, and failed to compensate its employees of overtime wages.

The FLSA clearly states that overtime pay entitles workers to one and a half times their regular hourly rate for each hour they work beyond their regular 40 hours in a week. Despite this fact, many employers refuse to pay their employees their rightfully earned overtime wages. These illegal business practices are unacceptable, and our Pinellas County Unpaid Overtime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you recover what is rightfully yours.

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An employee is suing Walt Disney, claiming he was discriminated against because of his age.  

The man filed a complaint on April 23 in Orange County Circuit Court against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts USA Inc. alleging violation of Florida law.

According to the complaint, the 61-year-old man, a military veteran, has worked for Disney since 1996. The suit says in March 2017, Disney denied him a promotion to security manager despite his meeting the requirements for the position.

He alleges Walt Disney Parks and Resorts USA denied him to advance from the promotional process to the interview phase because of his age. The suit says Disney treated a 45-year-old employee more favorably who was much younger and did not possess the leadership experience required for the job.

Employees should only be judged on the quality of their work. Sadly, many older employees find that they are subjected to arbitrary stereotypes, which is not only unfair, but also illegal. Many employers make the unjust assumption that older employees are not able to keep pace with younger employees, which is not true.

Federal and state laws prohibit employers from engaging in age discrimination. An employee may not be fired or otherwise discriminated against regarding the terms of their employment on the basis of age. If you feel that you have been the victim of age discrimination, please let our Florida Discrimination Attorneys at Whittel & Melton help you. Whether through counseling, litigation, or negotiation, we provide victims of age discrimination an outlet for addressing their concerns and a way to hold the at-fault party accountable for their wrongdoing.   

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A Fort Lauderdale employer is being sued over allegations of unpaid overtime wages and retaliation for reporting the unpaid wages as well as discrimination, a hostile work environment and retaliation for complaints about such behavior.

The claim alleges that the company was negligent in paying wages for overtime and created a hostile work environment. A former employee is requesting the company pay damages.

The former employee is a “Hispanic (Cuban Black) male and is a member of” a protected class under the U.S. Civil Rights Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act.

He was employed by the company from October 10, 2014, until July 23 and during his employment was responsible for “maintaining and monitoring inventory, distributing parts, and billing customers,” according to the complaint.

After he was promoted to operations coordinator, a white man was promoted to branch manager. This is when the man claims his hours were cut by the manager, a practice that was not inflicted on nonblack or non hispanic employees. He claims he was treated differently than other employees, and that the manager let other employees make racist comments.

The former employee said he made complaints to the Human Resources department but no changes were made. He alleges that the company tampered with his timecard and failed to pay him overtime wages.

After the man complained to Human Resources, he claims his manager terminated him.

The man is requesting a trial by jury and damages of unpaid wages and court costs.

When racial discrimination costs you your job or leads to you being demoted, you need to take a legal stance and fight for justice. Sadly, race discrimination in the workplace continues to be an unpleasant reality for many workers. Our South Florida Discrimination Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you address the injustice you have experienced and get you the financial justice you need to move forward.

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A former employee has filed a lawsuit against The University of Phoenix, alleging national origin discrimination, color discrimination, racial discrimination and retaliation.

The Broward County woman filed a complaint on April 27 in Broward Circuit Court against The University of Phoenix Inc. alleging violation of the 1992 Florida Civil Rights Act.

According to the complaint, the woman, a black Haitian, worked for the University of Phoenix from January 2007 until July 10, 2017 when she was terminated. She says she was deprived of her rights, exposed to ridicule and embarrassment, and suffered emotional distress and other damages, as a result of the discriminatory treatment and the hostile work environment she suffered from her supervisors.

The lawsuit states that the woman’s race and color were the motivating factor in her dismissal.

The suit goes on to state that The University of Phoenix failed to make prompt remedial action to prevent continued discrimination toward the woman and deprived her of her statutory rights under the Florida law.

Federal and state laws strictly prohibit racial discrimination in the workplace. Employers cannot make decisions to hire, fire, promote, or to provide training or other benefits because of a person’s race, color or national origin.  

Our South Florida Discrimination Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have the experience and commitment needed to aggressively fight employers who have mistreated employees at work or fired them because of their race or national origin. We can also protect employees who have been wrongfully retaliated against because they spoke up against race discrimination.

An employee who proves racial discrimination in the workplace did in fact occur may recover lost wages and financial compensation for the emotional harm inflicted upon them. In some cases, employees subjected to race discrimination may receive awards of punitive damages, or can even be reinstated to their jobs or promoted to their rightful position should it have been unfairly denied due to discrimination.

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