Tag Archives: florida

Florida Legislature Considers Bill To Require All Non-Provider Owned Practices To Become Licensed.

Under the Florida Health Care Clinic Act, most health care clinics not owned by a licensed physician or practitioner must apply for a license with the Agency For Health Care Administration (AHCA). The licensing process can be quite onerous and requires background checks of owners and certain employees, financial requirements, and inspections. Because the law was a result of investigations into personal injury clinics, a quirk in the language of the law made it possible for health care clinics that did not submit claims to either insurance or government payers to avoid the licensure requirement. There are many such practices in Florida that rely on patient only payments, including cosmetic surgery practices, diet centers, wellness centers, massage establishments and medical spas.

A new proposed statute, S.B. 732, which is designed to address cosmetic surgery centers, would change the law for all clinics and eliminate the reimbursement requirement and require all health care clinics that receive any payment that are not physician or practitioner owned to become licensed clinics. The Bill is currently winding its way through legislative committees and if passed, would affect a large number of practices in Florida.

By Bernard M. Cassidy

Workers with Varying Hourly Rates Have Variable Overtime Rates an Employer Must Pay Or Risk Getting Sued Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Overtime seems like an easy concept; the employee is entitled to 150% of their regular hourly pay for every hour of overtime they work. However, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) there are special rules for employees who make different rates throughout the course of the week, and when those different jobs count as independent employment, versus when the work at both jobs must be counted towards the employee’s forty hours per-week. A typical situation where this arises is in a restaurant where an employee sometimes acts as a manager and sometimes as a server, in this case the hours worked as a manager and as a server may or may not need to be added together to determine if overtime is owed, it depends on how you have set up that employment arrangement on paper with the employee. On that note, if management and service is set up improperly, then if the employee makes more as a manager, than they do as a server, you cannot pay them overtime rates based on whether the overtime hours were as a manager or server, nor take the lower of the two numbers.  When an employee has a varying hourly rate, getting the overtime calculation wrong can lead to a very expensive Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) suit. If you do not have a contract in place with a worker who does what you think are two separate jobs, a contract that is legally adequate to distinguish the jobs under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), then you can also face an expensive FLSA lawsuit. For help in avoiding expensive federal lawsuits when paying employees varying hourly rates call Attorney Joshua Sheskin at Lubell Rosen

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Arrests Are Up Over 700% in 2018, If You Employed Illegal Workers You Need a Good Federal Employment Attorney on Call Now More than Ever

Hiring illegal immigrants exposes your business to serious liability issues that could end in Federal Charges, but at a minimum result in hefty fines and a shutdown of your business for a period. ICE has had a record year with more than 6,848 investigations in 2018, compared to 1,691 investigations in 2017, this is an over 400% increase. ICE plans, on increasing the number of investigations in 2019. In 2017 1,360 companies were audited for I-9 compliance, compared to 5,981 in 2018, an over 400% increase, and in 2019 ICE has been directed to increase this number even more. In 2017 there were 311 arrests by ICE on worksites, but in 2018 there were 2,304, an over 700% increase. As an employer you may have decided to take the risk of hiring illegal workers, and if you have then you may be faced with an ICE investigation or audit, and if that happens the repercussions for breaking Federal Laws regarding immigration, in the current political climate, are severe. When ICE shows up to your business for an ICE Audit or Investigation, it is not the time to try to talk your way out of trouble. If ICE finds out you employed illegal workers the issue is damage control, how much you and your business will be punished for the hiring of illegal workers is a matter of how good your attorney is at controlling the damage. If ICE shows up at your business, it is essential to call an attorney like myself who has years of experience as a labor attorney, has regularly dealt with Federal Agencies, and has years of Federal Criminal Defense experience, to control the fallout. If ICE shows up at your business call Attorney Joshua Sheskin at Lubell Rosen today. -By: Joshua H. Sheskin, Esq., 954-880-9500 or JHS@LubellRosen.com.

Strict Time Keeping Rules Are the Only Way to Protect Against Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Lawsuits

 

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., 954-880-9500JHS@LubellRosen.com.

A Well Drafted Employee Arbitration Agreement Is Essential to Avoiding Costly Lawsuits

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., 954-880-9500JHS@LubellRosen.com.