Fort Lauderdale Employment LawyerDefending the Rights of Employees
At the Fort Lauderdale law offices of Donna M. Ballman, P.A., we provide legal representation to employees facing a variety of employment problems in Florida. We have organized and dedicated our resources to the practice of employee-side employment law. Our practice focuses on representing employees in employment law, labor law, severance negotiations, defense against noncompete agreements, and employment litigation. For more information regarding employment law or litigation, contact a Fort Lauderdale employment attorney at Donna M. Ballman, P.A., to discuss your needs.Representing Employees in All Aspects of Employment and Labor Law
Our practice areas focus on litigation matters, the rights of non-government employees and discrimination in the workplace in employment and labor law. We represent executives, physicians and employees in all non-competition and employment litigation, including:
- Wrongful termination - Florida is an at-will state and employers don't need to have a reason to fire you unless you have a contract stating otherwise. However, illegal reasons for termination would include discrimination, retaliation for objecting to something illegal the company was doing or asking you to do, making a worker's compensation claim, taking or notifying them you intend to take Family and Medical Leave, seeking an accommodation for a disability, serving on jury duty, taking time off due to domestic violence, discussing working conditions with coworkers, and other protected categories.
- Non-compete agreements - Florida is one of the most anti-employee states regarding noncompete agreement enforcement. However, if your employer did not have a legitimate interest to enforce, if they ceased the area of business, if they failed to meet their obligations under the agreement, if they did something wrong (unclean hands), or if you didn't sign the agreement, you may have some defenses to enforcement. If the agreement is for the sole purpose of preventing competition, it could be an antitrust violation.
- Discrimination - Discrimination against you for being you isn't illegal. But if you were treated differently than others under the same circumstances, or if you were harassed, and this occurred due to your race, age, sex, national origin, color, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, immigration status, or other protected status, it could be illegal discrimination.
- Harassment - General harassment and bullying is not illegal in Florida. However, workplace bullies are like playground bullies. They pick on the weak and the different. That could mean they are targeting protected categories of people. If they are targeting older employees, the disabled, those with family responsibilities, those needing medical leave, or pregnant employees, they may be breaking the law. If they are targeting only women or only men, people of a particular race or national origin, people of a particular religion, or other protected category, the harassment might be illegal.
- Layoffs - If you are laid off, you may be presented with a severance package. If so, you may be able to negotiate its terms. If there was discrimination, whistleblower retaliation, or some other illegal practice, then you may be able to negotiate for some severance.
- Severance - Employers don't have to offer severance unless there is a contract saying so, or unless they have a written severance policy. Still, potential claims against an employer might give you leverage to negotiate for severance. Also, some severance packages include noncompete or nonsolicitation agreements or other provisions that don't benefit you. Know what you are signing before you agree.
- Whistleblower retaliation - If you are fired right after objecting to or refusing to participate in an illegal activity of the employer, you might have a whistleblower retaliation claim.
- Employment agreements - Understand agreements before you sign. Know your rights and responsibilities. You may be able to negotiate with the employer before you sign. If you signed something you didn't understand, you may need some advice about your rights under the agreement.
The founder of our firm, Award Winning Author and Fort Lauderdale employment lawyer Donna M. Ballman, has authored Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired and many articles on different aspects of employment law. As a mediator and arbitrator herself, she is in a position to advise clients about the mediation and arbitration process.
Ms. Ballman was interviewed on the Forbes' "America's Most Influential Women" radio program. You can listen to the program by clicking on the SKY RADIO button. If necessary, download the free Windows Media Player http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-media-player.Contact Us
To speak with a Fort Lauderdale employment lawyer at Donna M. Ballman, P.A., contact us about potential representation. Serving the community since 1990, our employment and labor law firm can be reached from I-95, I-75, I-595, and the Florida Turnpike. Parking is free. By appointment only. We accept all major credit cards, including American Express, Visa and Mastercard.