Articles Posted in Orange County

Following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Flipper’s Pizza T. & B. Inc. – operating 11 Central Florida Flippers Pizzeria restaurants – has paid $27,425 in back wages to 70 employees for violating the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

The employer also paid $1,810 in civil money penalties for a child labor violation.

WHD investigators found the employer paid overtime-eligible assistant managers flat weekly salaries, without regard to the number of hours that they actually worked. This practice resulted in overtime violations when those employees worked more than 40 hours in a workweek but were not paid overtime in addition to those salaries. 

Additional overtime violations resulted when the employer calculated overtime for tipped employees incorrectly, basing those rates on servers’ cash rates only. The law requires employers to pay tipped workers overtime at time-and-one-half of at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. WHD also found the employer employed a 17-year-old minor to operate a motor vehicle to make deliveries, a violation of FLSA child labor requirements. The employer also failed to maintain accurate payroll records.

“Businesses employing minors have a special responsibility to ensure the safety of these workers by not having them perform any duties deemed hazardous,” said Wage and Hour District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville, Florida. “The Wage and Hour Division staffs local offices and provides online resources to assist employers in complying with the law. We encourage all employers to take advantage of these free compliance assistance resources, and to reach out to us with any questions.”

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Florida Law, any employee who works more than 40 hours in a workweek is entitled to compensation for the excess hours, either by:

  • Allowing or requiring the employee to take compensatory time off at the rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime (government employees only) or
  • Receiving pay for overtime at the rate of 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Our Orlando Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have seen employers cheat their employees out of overtime pay using some pretty slick techniques. While these complex and difficult-to-prove methods might be hard to spot, there are three major ways in which employers violate overtime laws:

  1. An employer may fail to pay overtime wages at the rate required by Florida law.
  2. An employer may misclassify an employee as exempt (also known as salaried) and not pay overtime when the employee should be properly classified as non-exempt and eligible for overtime pay.
  3. An employer may demand or allow an employee to work “off the clock” without pay, when the employer should actually be paying overtime wages.

If your employer has tried any of these methods on you, or you believe they might be doing something else to short you on overtime pay, our Orlando Unpaid Overtime Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help. We want to expose their unlawful behavior and make sure you are paid what is owed to you. 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which enforces federal wage laws, lists these as top wage-theft industries:

  • Nursing
  • Casinos
  • Homecare
  • Nannies or Childcare
  • Restaurants
  • IT Workers
  • Construction
  • Retail
  • Oil and Gas Field Services
  • Security Guard Services
  • Call Centers

It doesn’t matter where you work or what you do. If you think your employer is cheating you out of your overtime pay or engaging in other wage theft, let us review your case. 

If you regularly work more than 40 hours per week without getting any overtime pay, your employer owes you a large sum of money. You are legally entitled to collect all unpaid overtime from your employer. Our Florida Employment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how to help you recover the money that rightfully belongs to you. Let us evaluate your situation and determine what course of legal action is best. While it may seem like an insurmountable task to make an FLSA complaint about your employer, it is important to remember that employers cannot retaliate against you for exposing FLSA violations.

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An Orange County driver is suing UPS, alleging racial discrimination and wrongful termination.

The man filed a complaint Oct. 4 in Orange County Circuit Court against UPS Ground Freight Inc., alleging violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.

According to the complaint, the man’s employment with UPS Freight was steady for 17 years until the promotion of two other men.

After their promotion, the suit says, the man and other minority employees began to experience a pattern of harassment as he is Hispanic male of Puerto Rican descent and the two supervisors are white. Furthermore, the man alleges he was terminated for refusing to engage in an illegal activity.

He claims that UPS Ground Freight, despite receiving pleas for help from employees, failed to stop the harassment and allowed the discrimination and harassment to continue in the workplace.

The man seeks trial by jury, judgment for lost compensation, back pay, front pay, benefits with interest, attorney fees, costs and all other just and proper relief.

Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure equality of employment opportunities. Now, more than half a century later, racial  discrimination in the workplace remains all too prevalent. Our Florida Discrimination Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are deeply committed to achieving the promise of the Civil Rights Act by aggressively fighting race discrimination in the workplace.

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A former employee is suing an Orlando company, citing alleged retaliation and wrongful termination, after he filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

The man filed a complaint on Aug. 1, in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Orange County. He alleged that the company subjected him to adverse employment actions.

According to his accounts, on Jan. 17 he was injured while in the course and scope of his employment working for the defendant. He was terminated on or about July 1.

He has suffered emotional distress, lost wages and benefits, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-pecuniary losses, according to the complaint. He holds the company responsible because the defendant allegedly terminated his employment in retaliation for filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

An employer is strictly prohibited by law from discriminating against an employee because of a workplace injury. Workplace accidents can cause an employee to suffer substantial injuries that may result in them being unable to return to work for an extended period of time or unable to perform the same duties that they did before the injury occurred.

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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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Two former employees are suing the Orlando Magic, alleging unpaid wages.

The two men filed a complaint Dec. 27 in Orange County Circuit Court against Orlando Magic, LTD, alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, in May 2017, the men were laid off as Magic employees. The suit says during their employment, they regularly worked in excess of 40 hours per week but failed to receive overtime pay at the rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The two men allege the Magic failed to pay overtime premiums for hours worked in excess of 40 per week, failed to maintain records of employees working hours in violation of the record keeping requirements of the FLSA and failed to compensate at a rate not less than one-half times the regular rate of pay for work performed in excess of 40 hours in a work week.

The two men are hoping to recover all unpaid overtime compensation along with an equal amount as liquidated damages of more than $15,000, attorney fees, court costs, and all other relief the court deems proper.

Federal law mandates that employees who have worked over 40 hours in a week must be paid one and a half times their normal pay rate. While there are exceptions to this law, employers often misunderstand or misapply the rules at the employee’s expense. If you are not being paid for overtime hours that you work, your employer may be violating the Fair Labor Standard Act. If this is the case, you may be entitled to the back pay owed to you as well as an additional amount of liquidated damages and attorney’s fees.

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An Orlando employee is suing a transportation company, alleging retaliation and wrongful termination.

The woman filed a complaint Nov. 6 in Orange County Circuit Court against the company, alleging violation of the coercion statute.

According to the complaint, the woman began working for the company on Jan. 18. She says on June 25, she was grabbed on the arm by another driver from a company that contracted with the company. The suit says the other driver began scolding the woman.  

The woman says she reported the incident and opened a worker’s compensation claim. After the report, the suit says, the woman’s supervisors changed their behavior toward her, followed by a change in her schedule to a shift she was unable to work. As a result, she was forced to resign June 29 because no shifts were available.

The woman claims the company failed to protect employees from any harm during employment, failed to investigate the incident claim filed under Workers Compensation claim and forced an employee to resign without valid reason.

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A man has filed a collective-action lawsuit against an Orlando business for alleged unpaid overtime wages.

The man filed a complaint on Aug. 1 in the Orange County Circuit Court, alleging that the business failed to pay its employees the proper wage for all hours they worked.

According to the complaint, the man alleges that he and other similarly situated employees have suffered loss of earnings for allegedly not being paid 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for working more than 40 hours per week.

The man holds the business responsible for allegedly failing to determine if employees were properly compensated and for allegedly not keeping accurate time records.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides for collective action lawsuits against employers for minimum wage and overtime pay violations. To proceed as a collective action under the FLSA, employees must be “similarly situated,” which refers to employees subject to a common policy, plan or design that fails to compensate employees for minimum wage or overtime pay.

Employees must “opt in” to the lawsuit, which means they must affirmatively sign a document stating they want to proceed collectively. Usually one or more employees will initiate the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated. When other employees are given notice of the lawsuit, they can decide how they would like to proceed.

If you have a wage dispute with your employer, our Florida Unpaid Wage & Overtime Lawyers at Whittel & Melton to protect your rights. We can help you file a collective or class action lawsuit to obtain unpaid bonuses, commissions, and vacation pay as well as overtime and minimum wage.

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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 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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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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