The word disability has a very broad meaning under the ADA, and conditions you would not think are disabilities can lead to costly lawsuits if an employer does not have a policy to properly handle ADA Accommodation requests by employees. Believe it or not, an appellate court has held an employer liable for not allowing an employee with a sleep disorder to show up to work late every day. However, not all accommodations are required. The most important thing for an employer to do when faced with an ADA Accommodation request is to follow the right process and procedure, but the employer needs to have and disseminate a written ADA Policy, in advance, to truly protect themselves. Big, and small, employers are regularly sued for failure to accommodate employees under the ADA. Protect yourself today with a written ADA policy, and training as to how to properly use it, call Joshua Sheskin at the Ft. Lauderdale Headquarters of Lubell Rosen. By: Joshua H. Sheskin, Esq., 954-880-9500 – JHS@LubellRosen.com.
Often times employers have time records that show they paid an employee correctly, however, even with those records many employers lose Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuits. This is because while these businesses have a time clock, and pay their employees based on the hours that the time clock produces, they fail to have policies that eliminate the possibility of employees alleging that they worked off of the clock. Implementing proper procedures as to when your employee’s clock in and out, and what they must do after clocking out, is essential to avoiding liability in an FLSA suit, because if all you have is a time clock and it shows you paid, the employee will simply claim that they worked off of the clock. It is not as easy as telling employees that they may not work off of the clock, because the definition of work under the FLSA is so broad, and you did not have guidelines in place preventing them from working off of the clock. You do not need to give an employee permission to work off of the clock to owe them pay for off the clock work, they just need to work off of the clock, even if you have a rule against it. A well-written policy and procedure sheet detailing your time keeping rules can save you from tens of thousands of dollars, or more, in liability, and just as much in attorneys’ fees. Having your policies in place, and signatures on policy statements, before an employee attempts to bring a lawsuit, can save your business from paying significant amounts in legal fees, and liability, even if you have a time clock already. Your policies must go beyond prohibiting work off of the clock, and act to prevent any attempt to work off the clock. For help in drafting policies and procedure guides that prevent work from taking place off of the clock contact Joshua Sheskin at the Ft. Lauderdale Headquarters of Lubell Rosen. – By: Joshua H. Sheskin, Esq., 954-880-9500 – JHS@LubellRosen.com.
FLSA Lawsuits can cost employers significant amounts of money, both in defense costs and paying claims, however, there is a way to avoid these costly lawsuits. A well drafted arbitration agreement that covers actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and other state/federal laws, is essential to avoiding several kinds of lawsuits. An arbitration agreement is an agreement that your employees sign which obligates them to bring their issues to an arbitrator you select, rather than to court. Employees who represent Plaintiffs in FLSA, and other, cases, rarely wish to pursue any action that involves arbitration, because it requires a significant investment on the part of the attorney in a type of case usually taken on contingency. The significant investment comes in the form of a filing fee for the arbitration. A filing fee for arbitration can cost that attorney ten times what bringing a lawsuit costs, and most Plaintiff’s attorneys are hesitant to invest that type of money up front, especially because under a contingency agreement they are only paid if they win. It is rare to find a Plaintiff’s Lawyer who wants to bring any type of case to arbitration because of cost, but also because arbitrators picked by employers tend to favor employers. Courts will enforce arbitration clauses, especially in FLSA lawsuits, but they must be written properly, and written to cover actions properly brought under the FLSA. An insufficient arbitration agreement, or a poorly written arbitration agreement, may not be enforced by a court. For help in drafting a proper arbitration agreement that a court can uphold contact Joshua Sheskin at Lubell Rosen’s Broward County Headquarters. – By: Joshua H. Sheskin, Esq., 954-880-9500 – JHS@LubellRosen.com.