There is no quick checklist for determining whether or not you have a valid claim for employment discrimination. What we can offer you is a quick “Top 5” list of workplace rights you may believe you have, but in fact legally DO NOT:
1. “The boss fired me for no reason!”
Florida is known as an “at-will employment” state. This means an employee can be fired for any reason, or no reason at all. Likewise, it also means the employee can quit with equal impunity. Was your boss in a bad mood and you were around him/her at the wrong time? Sorry, your boss has the right to fire you.
2. "I have the right to see my file!"
Public employees in Florida can review and copy their personnel records, but there are no laws for private sector workers. However, if you are in a union, your union contract may give you the right to review your file, have copies, or remove unfair information. Also, personnel files can almost always be reviewed during a grievance or discipline.
3. "I demand my break right now!"
Florida has no meal or break laws for people over 18 years of age and neither does Federal Law. However, Federal Law does provide some guidance as to whether or not an employee should be paid during these times. Short breaks are usually 20 minutes or less, and should be counted as hours worked. Genuine meal breaks are usually 30 minutes or more and do not need to be compensated as work time. Meal breaks are considered genuine and unpaid as long as the worker is completely relieved of his or her duties during the meal break. If the employee is required to do any duties (even something as minor as answering a phone), it can’t be considered a meal or lunch period and must be paid.
4. "I exercised my First Amendment rights."
Your First Amendment right to free speech is not absolute in the workplace. The Constitution allows private companies to regulate speech, and even to bar political discussion entirely. Public employees are more protected by free-speech rules, but even those are very limited. Otherwise, you CAN be fired in Florida for your speech (including political speech) in the workplace or outside the workplace. You CANNOT be fired for speaking on behalf of coworkers in order to improve work conditions, or for objecting to something illegal, but make sure you are protected BEFORE you speak out.
5. "I'm working in a hostile environment."
Your work environment may be unpleasant or even hostile, but only a hostile environment or harassment due to race, age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, color, sickle cell trait, AIDS/HIV, or some other legally protected status is illegal. With 70 years of combined experience in trial practice and litigation for employment law in Florida, Lancaster and Eure has the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you prepare and win your employment law case. Contact Lancaster and Eure today to schedule your free consultation.
If you have been involved in an accident or been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should consult with an attorney. You do not have to be totally blameless for your injuries to receive compensation, and an experienced attorney can help you prove the degree to which another person is responsible for your mental or physical injury.
Personal injury cases are typically not simple, so getting good advice from an experienced attorney is the best first step in getting compensation. In addition to confirming you indeed have a case, your attorney will help you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. In Florida, many personal injury lawyers take cases on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t ask for an up-front retainer fee, but will take a percentage of any proceeds you collect.
To become well informed about eligibility for compensation and what to expect once you initiate a personal injury case, contact Lancaster and Eure today to set up a free consultation with an experienced attorney. With 70 years of combined experience in trial practice and litigation for personal injury in Florida, Lancaster and Eure has the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you with your personal injury case.
Florida is a no-fault state, which means the insurance carriers of all drivers involved in a collision will pay a percentage of the medical bills and lost wages resulting from an accident, no matter who was at fault. This type of coverage is called personal injury protection (PIP), which provides coverage of a minimum of $10,000 per person per crash. In order to access PIP benefits, an injured party must seek medical treatment within 14 days of the car accident.
An injured person must also meet certain criteria in order to file a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident. Specifically, the injured party must be able to prove the motor vehicle accident resulted in “serious permanent injuries.”
Additionally, Florida has what is called the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, which states if you allow someone to borrow your car, or put your name on the title of a car for someone else, you can be held liable for damages in the event of an accident, even if you had nothing to do with the accident. It is very important to consult with a personal injury attorney to find out if you are at risk of being sued if someone driving your car, or driving a car with your name on the title, is involved in a motor vehicle accident. By becoming informed about your liability in such a situation, you are more prepared in the event an injured person or persons decides to take you to court.
Contact Lancaster and Eure to schedule a free consultation. With 70 years of combined experience in trial practice and litigation for personal injury in Florida, Lancaster and Eure has the knowledge and expertise to help you with your personal injury case.
If you were fired because you were injured on the job, filed for Workers’ Compensation, or because of sexual harassment (just to name a few unlawful reasons), you may be able to take legal action against your employer.
Keep in mind, if you are laid off or fired, you are entitled to:
- receive money you’ve already earned (this can include sick leave or vacation time),
- continue your health insurance coverage,
- receive any severance pay you were promised, and
- collect unemployment benefits, if you qualify.
Most employers are not required to pay severance according to federal law; however, employers may be legally required to pay severance if they promised to do so in either a written contract or an employee handbook/manual, or if they have a history of paying severance to other employees in the same position. Keep in mind, severance pay is not always limited to just money, and can include additional benefits such as insurance or unemployment compensation.
If you lose your job, you may also be eligible to receive some temporary or permanent financial support with the help of unemployment insurance benefits. The benefits are typically less than your former pay and usually last less than a year, but every penny counts when you have lost your job, and you may want to consider this option.
If any of these circumstances apply to you, and your employer is not following through with his/her responsibilities, set up a free consultation with an experienced employment attorney at Lancaster and Eure to become fully knowledgeable about your eligibility for compensation and what to expect once you initiate a civil suit. With 70 years of combined experience in trial practice and litigation for employment law in Florida, Lancaster and Eure has the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you with your employment law case.
Personal injury law practice involves recovering compensation for victims of another person’s negligent, careless, or intentional behavior.
In personal injury law, there is a basic principle that if a person involved in an accident was less careful than another, the less careful person must pay for at least a portion of the damages suffered by the more careful person. It is this rule by which legal liability is determined in most cases. However, there are important details to consider, such as if an injured person was somewhere he/she was not supposed to be, or in a place where he/she should have expected the kind of activity which caused the accident or injury. In these instances, the responsible party might not be liable because he/she had no "duty" to be careful toward the injured person. If the injured person was also careless, his/her compensation may be reduced by the extent to which the carelessness is deemed responsible for the accident. This is known as comparative negligence. There are also different guidelines for an automobile accident as Florida is a “no-fault” state.
Determining if someone is responsible for your physical or emotional suffering and if you are entitled to compensation may seem overwhelming, but with a well-informed source and a strong advocate, it is possible to prepare a successful personal injury case.
Take the first step towards helping yourself and contact Lancaster and Eure for a free consultation to talk about your accident or injury. With over 70 years of combined experience in trial practice and litigation for personal injury in Florida, Lancaster and Eure has the knowledge and expertise to represent your best interests.
There are many different scenarios wherein someone who was not totally blameless for his/her injury can receive some compensation. However, receipt of damages incurred is only feasible if the injured person or his/her legal representative can prove the degree to which the other party involved in the accident or injury was negligent.
For example, if an accident is caused on poorly built or maintained property, the property owner could be liable for being careless in maintaining the property, regardless of whether he/she actually created the dangerous condition leading to the accident/injury. Therefore, if you are injured on such a property, you could prove the property owner was at fault, with the proper evidence.
In order to prove fault, there must be documentation and evidence of the accident and any injuries or damages. Therefore, it is recommended, the moment an accident or injury occurs, whether it’s a boating accident, a car accident, or a dog bite, you begin documenting the event, if at all possible. This documentation may consist of photos, writing details of the event, getting names and contact information of any witnesses, and/or filing a report with the local authorities.
To know your rights and what to expect once you initiate a personal injury case, set up a free consultation with an attorney at Lancaster and Eure. With 70 years of combined experience in trial practice and litigation for personal injury in Florida, Lancaster and Eure has the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you with your personal injury case.
In Florida, the statute of limitations, or specific period of time during which a personal injury lawsuit can be filed, is four years from the date of the incident or collision. If you do not file within this time, you give up your right to sue.
It should be noted the statute of limitations (as well as the process) for suing a government agency could be very different. Typically, you first file an administrative claim with the city, county, or state of which the agency is a part, and you may have as little as 60 days to submit an administrative claim. Usually, the government denies your claim; however, the denial notification letter will tell you how long you have to file a lawsuit.
There are different regulations applied to laws in every state and statutes of limitations may vary from state to state. For instance, in one state, rules may allow a person with a personal injury claim one year from the date of injury to file suit; and in another state, personal injury plaintiffs may have two years to sue. Be aware there are also certain types of accidents which might have a shorter statute of limitations.
Take the first step towards educating yourself about your rights and contact Lancaster and Eure for a free consultation to discuss your accident or injury. With over 70 years of combined experience in trial practice and litigation for personal injury in Florida, Lancaster & Eure has the knowledge and expertise to represent your best interests.