Have you suffered discrimination, retaliation, or harassment in your job in Jacksonville? Are you trying to negotiate a severance agreement or other employment contract with your employer? Have you had disciplinary charges filed against you by your employer or your licensing agency or board? Regardless of the particular employment law matter you are facing, you need experienced legal representation to protect your interests and fight for the outcome you deserve. You need a Jacksonville employment lawyer from Cruz Law Firm, P.A.
For years, our attorneys have advocated for our clients’ interests in some of the most challenging employment law matters. We have brought over 100 cases to trial in state and federal courts, which gives us considerable hands-on experience to bring to bear on your case. But more than just our experience, it is the compassion and dedication we offer our clients that have earned us dozens of five-star reviews on Google and considerable accolades from our peers.
Reach out to Cruz Law for an initial claim evaluation with a Jacksonville employment attorney from our firm. Let us fight for the compensation and justice you deserve after suffering discrimination, harassment, or retaliation at work.
A Jacksonville Employment Lawyer Can Defend Your Employee Rights
Turn to Cruz Law for help from a Jacksonville employment lawyer after your worker rights have been violated. Our firm is ready to go to work on your behalf by:
- Investigating the facts and circumstances in your case to obtain evidence in support of your claims
- Documenting your losses to ensure we fight for the full financial recovery you deserve
- Evaluating your legal options for seeking relief and candidly assessing the strength of your case
- Preparing and filing your claims with state or federal agencies
- Going to court and trial in your case, if necessary, to demand accountability and justice from your employer
Employment Law Cases Our Jacksonville Law Firm Handles
At Cruz Law, an employment law attorney from our team can help you if you have a labor case involving:
Sexual harassment in the workplace comes in two principal forms. The first is hostile work environment sexual harassment. This occurs when a worker is subjected to severe or pervasive mistreatment because of their sex that alters the conditions of their employment. It can arise from sex- or sexually-related offensive comments, unwanted and offensive touching, or unwanted and repeated romantic or sexual advances. The second form is quid pro quo sexual harassment. This happens when a worker is promised job benefits or threatened with adverse employment actions by a supervisor or manager who demands sexual favor from the worker.
Sexual harassment is prohibited under the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employees who suffer sexual harassment may be entitled to recover compensation and other legal relief, such as reinstatement after being wrongfully or constructively terminated.
Employment discrimination occurs when a worker is treated unfavorably or differently than other employees due to the worker’s characteristics. Discrimination can involve taking adverse employment action against a worker or subjecting that worker to harassment that creates a hostile work environment.
Employment discrimination is prohibited by several state and federal laws, including the FCRA and Title VII. Both statutes prohibit covered employers from engaging in discrimination against workers for certain protected characteristics, including:
- Age – Employers may not discriminate against workers due to their age. Federal law prohibits age discrimination against employees aged 40 and older. Age discrimination can include refusing to hire or promote an older worker, denying an older worker training or work assignments, or terminating or laying off an older worker. Age discrimination can also include harassment of an older worker, such as making offensive comments about a worker’s age, berating an older worker for poor performance, or repeatedly inquiring about an older worker’s retirement plans.
- Disability – The FCRA, Title VII, and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit employers from discriminating against disabled workers. A worker is considered disabled when they have a physical or cognitive impairment that severely limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment, or when they are perceived as disabled. Disability discrimination can involve taking adverse employment actions against a disabled worker or failing to provide that worker with reasonable accommodations that would enable them to perform the essential functions of their job despite their disability. Disabled workers can also suffer harassment on the job, including offensive or berating comments.
- Gender – State and federal laws prohibit discrimination against workers on the basis of their sex or gender. Sex discrimination can include unfair treatment of employees of a certain sex, including refusing to hire or promote them or paying them differently than other workers in similar positions. The FCRA and Title VII prohibit sex and gender discrimination. The Equal Pay Act prohibits sex-based wage discrimination.
- LGBTQIA – Discriminating against employees due to their sexual orientation or transgender status is prohibited by Title VII, interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court as including LGBTQIA discrimination within the scope of sex discrimination prohibited by the statute.
- Pregnancy – Discrimination against women due to pregnancy or childbirth is prohibited by various state and federal statutes, including the FCRA, the ADA, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Pregnancy discrimination includes refusing to hire or promote pregnant workers, terminating or laying off workers who become pregnant, and suspending or transferring women who become pregnant. Pregnancy discrimination can also include failing to provide reasonable accommodations for a pregnant worker, such as flexible scheduling to attend medical appointments or providing ergonomic workspaces and frequent breaks.
- Race – Racial discrimination includes unfairly treating workers due to their race, skin color, or national origin. It is prohibited by Title VII, FCRA, and Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Race-based discrimination can take the form of adverse employment actions due to a worker’s race, color, or national origin. Other discriminatory acts include harassment in the workplace, offensive comments, exclusion from meetings or work events, and threats of harm.
- Religion – The FCRA and Title VII also prohibit discrimination and harassment of workers because of their religious beliefs, including a lack of religious beliefs. The law further requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations that permit employees to continue observing their religious beliefs in the workplace.
Whistleblowing occurs when an employer reports unlawful, unethical, or dangerous conduct by their employer to government authorities. Whistleblower claims include complaints of improper employer conduct made by employees and employee claims of retaliation after whistleblowing. Numerous federal statutes prohibit retaliation against whistleblowing employees and permit them to seek financial recovery from their employers. The federal False Claims Act also allows employees to file qui tam actions against their employers for engaging in fraudulent behavior with government funds.
Employers may not engage in retaliation against employees for exercising their labor rights. Retaliation can include:
- Refusing to promote
- Refusing pay raises
- Transferring to less desirable positions
- Terminating a worker’s employment
Retaliation can occur after an employee complains about discrimination or harassment in the workplace, requests protected leave from work, files for workers’ compensation benefits, or engages in whistleblowing against the employer. Employee retaliation is prohibited under the FCRA and Title VII, as well as by other statutes that confer various employee rights, such as the ADA, Equal Pay Act, Rehabilitation Act, and the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act.
Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is fired or laid off for an improper motive, such as due to discrimination or retaliation for a worker’s exercise of their rights. A wrongfully terminated employee may be entitled to pursue various kinds of legal relief, such as compensation for back pay and front pay, reinstatement to their job, reimbursement for their legal expenses, or punitive or liquidated damages for willful employer misconduct.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides eligible employees of covered workers with job-protected, unpaid leave for certain health- and family-related needs, such as personal serious injury or illness, to care for an injured or ill family member, or for the birth or adoption of a child. While on leave, employees have the right to continued group health insurance coverage. Upon returning from leave, workers are entitled to the reinstatement of their other job benefits and to return to their pre-leave position or another position with similar responsibilities, pay, and benefits. Employers who refuse to grant proper requests for leave or retaliate against workers who request or take leave may face liability for a worker’s lost back and front pay, expenses incurred due to denied leave, and attorney’s fees.
Severance agreements are contracts between an employer and employee, entered upon the employee’s voluntary departure or termination due to layoffs. Severance agreements can cover a wide range of topics related to an employee’s departure, such as outstanding pay; additional compensation (“severance pay”); restrictive covenants like non-compete and nondisclosure agreements; non-disparagement clauses; and releases of legal claims between the parties. Our firm can help you negotiate a severance agreement, pursue legal claims on your behalf if your employer violates your severance agreement, or advocate in your defense if your employer claims that you violated your severance agreement.
Professional Discipline and Predetermination Conferences
Our firm also represents workers facing disciplinary proceedings for alleged misconduct in the course of their employment. We can help workers in licensed professions who are charged with violations of professional rules. Our lawyers also provide legal assistance to state employees in Florida in predetermination conferences, which allow them to contest disciplinary allegations filed against them by their supervisors.
Contact a Jacksonville Employment Law Attorney Today
If you have been mistreated by your employer or have had your labor law rights violated, contact Cruz Law today for a confidential consultation. Let a Jacksonville employment law attorney from our firm help you better understand your legal options for pursuing financial recovery and justice from your employer.