Articles Posted in Orange County

The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to pay $3.8 million in back wages to Florida workers for violating minimum wage and overtime laws as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The federal agency said last month that the back wages will be paid to more than 16,000 workers at the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Florida.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division says Disney deducted uniform expenses that caused some workers’ hourly wages to fall below the federal minimum wage.

The division also says Disney didn’t pay workers for duties performed before their shifts started and after their shifts ended.

The agency says Disney cooperated with their investigation.

By law, employees must be rightfully compensated for the services and labor they provide to an employer. Even salaried workers may be entitled to overtime pay, depending on the circumstances. Our Florida Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you understand if you can collect any wages that you believe are owed to you.

We can help if you are seeking back pay for any of the following:

  • Illegal wage deductions
  • Violation of minimum wage laws
  • Unpaid overtime, bonuses, and tips
  • Delay in paychecks

When it comes to unpaid wages, it is best to keep a detail record of what your employer owes you. Your employer should keep their own records of hours employees worked and their wages. If your employer cannot provide these records to dispute your claims, then a court is more likely to side with the employee.

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The national retail giant Dillard’s, Inc. was ordered to pay $110,000 and provide significant remedial relief to settle a same-sex harassment lawsuit involving two male victims.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Dillard’s permitted a sexually hostile work environment for men at its Fashion Square Mall store in Orlando, Fla.

The EEOC stated that a male supervisor engaged in verbal and physical sexual harassment of a male sales associate and a young dockworker when the supervisor exposed himself, propositioned the men, and made sexually explicit and derogatory comments.

The EEOC said that Dillard’s ignored complaints about the harasser.

7721304606_4a0e58d6a8_m“The EEOC will hold corporate America accountable for failing to prevent and correct employment discrimination,” said Commission Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “Sexual harassment charge filings by men have trended upward over the past decade. Employers must be more vigilant in ensuring that men are not subjected to sexually hostile workplaces.”

Under the terms of the EEOC consent decree resolving the case, in addition to paying $110,000 to the two male victims, the Dillard’s Fashion Square Mall store will distribute policies to the workforce on preventing sexual harassment and retaliation, conduct sexual harassment and anti-discrimination training for all employees, train employees who are responsible for investigating sexual harassment complaints, submit to monitoring throughout the decrees three-year duration and post a notice about the resolution of the case.

Furthermore, any future sexual harassment complaints will become part of the alleged harasser’s permanent work file.

“The Commission is pleased that the parties were able to reach an amicable resolution of this matter,” said EEOC Miami District Director Jacqueline H. McNair. “This resolution sends a strong message that employers must take appropriate corrective actions in response to harassment complaints.”

According to its web site, Little Rock, Ark.-based Dillard’s, Inc. “ranks among the nation’s largest fashion apparel and home furnishings retailers with annual revenues exceeding $6.9 billion. The Company operates approximately 315 Dillard’s locations spanning 29 states.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and all other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is made a condition of employment, the basis of an employment decision or that contributes to a hostile working environment.

While most forms of sexual discrimination are associated with heterosexual relationships, in recent years there has been a sharp increase in the number of same-sex harassment complaints. EEOC statistics reveal that the number of same-sex harassment charges has doubled in the last 5 years.

Examples of same-sex sexual harassment commonly include:

  • Verbal or Sexual Assaults
  • Jokes about Genitalia
  • Lewd Comments
  • Intimidating Language or Actions
  • Sexually Suggestive Simulations

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Tracy Morgan has filed a lawsuit against Walmart following the catastrophic trucking accident that left him severely injured and killed another passenger. The New Jersey accident happened in June and ended up making national headlines after a truck driver smashed a tractor trailer into the rear end of the comedian’s limousine.

The lawsuit was filed on July 10th in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Morgan, along with three other survivors filed the suit naming Walmart as the defendant. The complaint alleges that Walmart was negligent and responsible for the driver that crashed into the limousine.

Tracy MorganAccording to a report released last month, the truck driver was traveling at 20 miles per hour above the speed limit on the New Jersey Turnpike when his tractor-trailer struck the rear of the Mercedes limousine van. Morgan suffered multiple fractures that required several surgeries. Morgan has since been released from the rehabilitation center and is continuing his recovery at home. The comedian will also have to endure aggressive outpatient treatment. The lawsuit names additional plaintiffs, including Morgan’s wife, who was eight months pregnant when the accident happened. The crash also killed 63-year-old comedian James McNair, who was better known by his stage name Jimmy Mack.

When a trucking accident occurs, it is very important for an independent investigation to be conducted in order to determine the exact cause of the accident and identify all responsible parties. A Florida Auto Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton can uncover the facts of your car accident and pinpoint who is responsible.When a vehicle that is involved in an accident is owned by a company, such as Walmart, it is very important to consult with an attorney who can aggressively protect your rights. In cases like these, the driver can be considered an agent of the company, which means both can be held liable for accidents and injuries.

The lawsuit alleges that Walmart knew about or should have known that the 35-year-old Georgia driver had been awake for more than 24 consecutive hours at the time of the crash. In fact, federal trucking regulations restrict the number of hours a driver can work behind the wheel without sleep. Any federal trucking violation can be used as evidence for negligence in a personal injury or wrongful death claim. The initial investigation into Morgan’s crash revealed that the driver had not slept for nearly 24 hours before the crash occurred. The truck driver was actually arrested following the accident.

The state of New Jersey has found the truck driver criminally liable for the accident, charging him with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. The driver has entered a not guilty plea. If the driver is found guilty in the criminal case, the results can be used as evidence of negligence in the civil lawsuit.

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As National Safety month continues throughout the month of June, week 3 focuses on being aware of your surroundings.

According to the National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts” for 2014, contact with objects and equipment was responsible for 15.1 percent of workplace deaths in 2011. This was also the second leading cause of missed days from work in that same year. These injuries can happen due to falling objects or mistakably being hit by a moving vehicle, like a forklift or car.

To help avoid injuries from contact with objects or equipment, the Florida Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton recommend the following for situational attentiveness and workplace safety:

  • Neatly store any and all materials.
  • Store all items at heights that are secure.
  • Heavy objects should be stored close to the floor.
  • To prevent a tip over, only open one filing cabinet drawer at a time.
  • Wear proper attire for your workplace setting, such as steel-toed footwear.
  • Do not overload moving equipment.
  • Do not operate any machinery or equipment that you are not trained to use.
  • Always exercise added caution when coming around corners or when you are near doorways.
  • Make sure all safety devices on equipment are in good working order before using them.
  • Exercise added caution when walking around corners and near doorways.

workplaceThe NSC’s mission during the month of June is to prevent unintentional injury and death by drawing attention to safe practices. As part of this effort, our personal injury attorneys in Florida urge everyone to be attentive and conscious of their surroundings.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death due to another person’s carelessness or negligence, contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton for help. Our personal injury law office handles all types of accident, injury and wrongful death cases.

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