LawCall™ is a weekly, thirty minute call-in show about legal topics of interest. Each week, we discuss personal injury, auto accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, slip and fall, DUI accidents and birth injuries, as well as bankruptcy, family law, divorce, landlord and tenant law, dangerous and defective products, legislative matters, and current issues in the legal world. We take your calls LIVE every Sunday at 11:35pm. Call us at 1-877-525-LAWS (5297) during the show.
This Week On LawCall™ — Can My Boss Do That?
Employment law covers many areas, from discrimination to drug testing, overtime to employee benefits. The law can seem complicated and confusing. So, what are your rights at work? Can employers legally read your email? Can your boss force you to work overtime or holidays? What if you’re not getting the same pay and benefits as everyone else? If this is happening to you, you need to tune in to LawCall™ this Sunday, when Tallahassee personal injury attorney Jaeson Homola and his guest will be talking about your rights in the workplace.
If you’re having problems with your boss or your co-workers, or if you’re a boss who’s having problems with your employees, give us a call this Sunday on LawCall™.
I just got fired for no reason. Can my boss do that?
Yes, with exceptions. In Florida, employment is “at Will.” This means that your employer can terminate you at any time without cause. However, there are a few exceptions to this. You cannot be fired “at Will”
- If you have a contract that limits the reasons for which you can be fired;
- For discrimination based upon sex, race, religion, age, color, national origin, physical disability or mental status;
- For exercising your right to a federally protected right, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act, unionization, or filing a sexual harassment claim;
- In retaliation for filing a Worker’s Compensation claim, for “whistleblowing”, or for filing a claim against your employer for failure to pay wages or overtime.
I often have to answer work-related emails after hours, on nights and weekends. I have never been paid for that time. Can my boss do that?
Maybe. A recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seems to indicate that an employer is more likely to have to pay overtime only if it knows its employees are working substantive amounts of time outside of regular working hours, and does not compensate them for it.
However, unless a company has a written policy about paying overtime, or an employee has a contract that specifies when overtime will or will not be paid, an employer does not have to pay overtime if an employee makes over $455 per week. (The Department of Labor has proposed increasing that by more than twice as much.) This is definitely an area where you need an experienced labor attorney.
I just learned my company monitors and reads my emails at work, including my private emails! Can my boss do that?
Yes. Generally speaking, Courts have found that employers can read an employee’s email. Many companies have policies that inform their employees that their email can be monitored. However, even if your company doesn’t have a formal email policy, it has the legal right to read your email if it is sent on company owned (or leased) equipment, or using its network. There are a few exceptions to this, but these types of cases have usually been decided in favor of the employer.
The personal injury attorneys at Tallahassee law firm Barrett, Fasig & Brooks can help you if you have been injured, or if you need an attorney in another practice area of law, such as labor law or criminal law. For over 30 years, Barrett, Fasig & Brooks has been a part of the legal community in Tallahassee and North Florida, and we have developed excellent relationships with lawyers in all practice areas. We will refer you to an attorney that we would use ourselves, and would recommend to a friend or family member. Give us a call at (850) 224-3310. An attorney is always available, day or night, weekday or weekend, to take your call.
LawCall™ features Tallahassee personal injury attorneys, Vinse Barrett, Jimmy Fasig, Dana Brooks, and Mark Nonni, plus guest attorneys from across North Florida who answer your questions on a different legal topic every Sunday. Long-time newscaster Frank Ranicky anchors the program.