Report: Florida is a Hotspot for Employment Litigation
Lex Machina—a legal analytics company—recently released its 2023 Employment Litigation Report. Notably, the report finds that Florida is one of the nation’s “hotspots” for employment lawsuits. Lex Machina found that more than nine percent of employment litigation was initiated in Florida. For reference, Florida makes up around 6 percent of the nation’s population—meaning the state is overrepresented in workplace lawsuits. Employment disputes can arise for a wide range of different reasons. Here is an overview of some of the lead causes of action in employment litigations.
Employment Discrimination Claims
Federal and state laws protect many workers in Florida against discrimination by employers. Employment discrimination claims arise when an employee alleges unfair treatment based on specific, legally protected characteristics. Examples include:
- Race discrimination
- Color discrimination;
- National origin discrimination;
- Gender discrimination;
- Sex discrimination;
- Sexual orientation discrimination;
- Pregnancy discrimination;
- Age discrimination;
- Religious discrimination; and
- Disability discrimination.
These claims often involve hiring, promotion, job assignments, termination, and other aspects of employment. An employer found liable for unlawful discrimination may face a number of consequences, including payment of damages to the affected employee(s).
Workplace Sexual Harassment Allegations
Sadly, sexual harassment in the workplace still happens far too often. Nearly 4 in 10 U.S. women employees report that they have been personally sexually harassed. A significant share of male employees also report that they have experienced sexual harassment. By definition, workplace sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination It can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Wage and Hour Cases
Wage and hour litigation involves disputes over compensation and working hours. Common claims include unpaid overtime, misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime, minimum wage violations, and failure to provide legally mandated breaks. In Florida, wage and hour cases are primarily governed by a federal law called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Unlawful Retaliation Claims
Retaliation claims arise when an employer takes adverse action against an employee who engaged in a legally protected activity because that employee engaged in that protected conduct. Examples include filing a discrimination claim, participating in an investigation, or whistleblowing. An adverse employment action may be termination, demotion, salary reduction, or other negative job actions. To prove retaliation, an employee must show a connection between the adverse action and the protected activity.
Employment Agreements (Breach of Contract)
Breach of contract cases in employment contexts occur when either an employer or employee fails to adhere to the terms of an employment contract. A breach of contract dispute may arise over pay, the terms of employment, non-compete clause, a non-disclosure provision, or a wide range of other matters. These disputes may be resolved through mediation, arbitration, and litigation.
Get Help From an Employment Litigation Attorney in Florida
Employment discrimination cases are complicated. No matter the situation that you find yourself dealing with, it is imperative that you have a skilled advocate on your side. Consult with a Florida employment law attorney for a comprehensive consultation.