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Showing posts from January, 2015

NEW YEAR, NEW RULES: WHAT YOUR COMPANY NEEDS TO KNOW FOR 2015 - PART II

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PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS NOW VIABLE IN FLORIDA

In April 2014, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) covers pregnancy discrimination, the Court taking the broad view that pregnancy discrimination extends to the laws regarding protection of an individual based on gender.  In this case, Delva v. The Continental Group, the Plaintiff worked as a front desk manager at a property management firm. She filed suit against the Defendant employer alleging that because of her pregnancy, the employer heightened the scrutiny of her work, refused to allow her to change shifts and work extra shifts (despite company policy allowing such things), refused to allow her to cover shifts, and refused to schedule her for work after she returned from maternity leave. While the underlying merits of the discrimination claims have since been remanded back to the circuit court, the issue before  the Florida Supreme Court was whether Plaintiff could bring a claim for pregna…

NEW YEAR, NEW RULES: WHAT YOUR COMPANY NEEDS TO KNOW FOR 2015 - PART I

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FLORIDA MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2015
ATTENTION ALL EMPLOYERS:  Effective January 1, 2015, Florida’s minimum wage is now $8.05 per hour, up from $7.93 (with a minimum wage of at least $5.03 per hour for tipped employees, in addition to tips). An employer that is found liable for intentionally violating Florida’s minimum wage requirements is subject to a fine of $1,000.00 per violation, payable to the state.
If you are notified by an employee that they have not been receiving the lawful minimum wage, act quickly! An employer only has 15 calendar days to resolve any claims for unpaid wages before an employee may bring a civil action in a court of law to recover back wages, damages, and attorney’s fees. Additionally, the Attorney General or other official designated by the Legislature may bring a civil action to enforce the minimum wage.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity adjusts the state minimum wage annually on September 30th, adjusting the minimum wage by…

New Construction Project? First Things First: The Preliminary Notice & Ensuring Your Rights to Payment

What are preliminary notices? In Florida, preliminary notices come in the form of a Notice to Owner and/or Contractor. The distinction between a notice that goes to an owner as opposed to a contractor hinges on whether the project is privately or publically owned. Most preliminary notice companies err on the side of caution and issue a combined Notice to Owner/Contractor form which complies with both private (Fla. Stat. 713) and public (Miller Act, Fla. Stat. 255) project laws in Florida.
What is the purpose of a preliminary notice? For the supplier or subcontractor, the most important role of the preliminary notice is to secure your potential lien or bond claim on a construction project. Additionally, the notice alerts the owner of a project to your participation/scope of work on a construction project and your possible future claim should you not receive payment for your labor, services and/or materials.
What is the procedure in Florida for a Preliminary Notice? Generally, the prelim…

Conditional Payment Bonds: A Trap for the Unwary

On a typical private payment bond (Fla. Stat. §713.23) project, lienor’s look to a bond issued and backed by a surety should their contractor or customer fail to pay for the lienor’s work or materials. Claims against a §713.23 payment bond are perfected by serving a proper and timely preliminary notice to the owner, contractor and surety (as disclosed in the notice of commencement) and also serving a Notice of Non Payment within 90 days of last furnishing materials, services or labor to the project. These type of claims do not require the filing of a lien but rather the serving of a Notice of Non Payment.
However, there is another type of bond claim in Florida which does require the filing of a lien in addition to the serving of a Notice of Non Payment to perfect your rights to payment. These bonds are called conditional payment bonds and are governed by Fla. Stat. §713.245. These conditional payment bonds are conditioned on the owner having paid the contractor for those amounts being…