Florida Employment Lawyer BLOG

Coming Soon: University of Miami football players sign collective bargaining agreement with the University.

March 29th, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that full-scholarship student athletes who play football for Northwestern University are “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act, and thus have the right to for a union and negotiate, collectively, with their employer, Northwestern University. I haven’t fully digested the ruling but its a potential game changer. But let’s talk basics:

First — Northwestern is going to appeal. It has many levels of appeal before this ruling becomes final. I suspect that if the appellate courts affirm the decision, then the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case and make a final ruling.

Second — this only applies to private schools. Public schools are not “employers” under the Act.

Third — this only applies to full-scholarship athletes. The NLRB did not reject “employee” status for student athletes on less than a full scholarship, but the ruling didn’t apply to them either. Expect more lawsuits on this.

Here’s the full decision:

NLRB Decision on Northwestern University Football Players Unionizing

Given the prominence of the University of Miami in South Florida, I would anticipate some type of similar lawsuit being filed here. If you have questions about this ruling, feel free to contact me at Conrad & Scherer, LLP.

Unemployed Face Stigma Regardless of Time Between Jobs, Study Says

August 13th, 2012

As anyone running for a political office right now will tell you, the number one crisis facing the nation today is unemployment. According to the Huffington Post, more than five million Americans have been between jobs for at least six months. Unfortunately for them, new research suggests that unemployment of any kind is a major strike against job seekers.

“We found bias against the jobless among human resources professionals as well as among the broader public, virtually from the outset of unemployment,” said Geoffrey C. Ho of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and co-author of the study. Margaret Shih and Daniel J. Walters of UCLA Anderson and Todd Lowell Pittinsky from Stony Brook University also contributed to the report.

Little Sympathy for the Jobless

Researchers performed three experiments to gauge attitudes about job seekers. Human resources professionals examined sets of identical resumes and said they were more likely to pick the applicant that was listed as employed versus unemployed. College students said they felt the same towards laid off applicants as they did towards applicants who voluntarily left their jobs. A third study found that people felt slightly more sympathetic towards people whose previous employer went out of business.

“What does allay people’s bias is some explicit indication that losing your job was not your fault,” Ho said.

Importance of Proper Hiring and Firing

This research underscores how important it is for employers to obey the law when letting someone go. Unemployed people face many obstacles in their job search, including this assumption that they deserve their unemployment. If you believe that your employer unfairly fired you due to workplace discrimination or whistleblowing, you may be entitled to seek justice against them. Call us today to set up a free consultation: (305) 379-0305.

Sarelson Law FirmMiami employment attorneys

How to File a Sex Discrimination Complaint

August 10th, 2012

If you think you are a victim of gender discrimination in the workplace, you can file a workplace discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Depending on your position, you may need to file one of two different ways.

Federal Employees and Job Applicants

Within 45 days of the offense, contact a counselor at the EEOC. They might suggest solving the dispute through mediation. If that does not or cannot work, you can file a formal complaint. If the EEOC does not dismiss your claim, it must perform an investigation within 180 days. From there, you can request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge, or you can allow the EEOC to decide if discrimination took place.

Everyone Else

Timelines for filing an EEOC complaint are a little more lenient here. In most situations, you have at least 180 days, unless a local agency needs to be involved, in which case you might have up to 300 days.

File a claim by visiting your local EEOC office. At this stage, you are welcome to bring your Miami employment lawyer with you to make sure you include all necessary information, dates, names and witnesses in your formal complaint. This way, you maximize your chances of a successful resolution. You can also file a claim by mailing a letter: visit the EEOC website for a list of what to include in the letter.

If you still have questions about how to file a workplace discrimination claim, please call us at 305-379-0305. The call is free, and our employment experts can tell you what to include in your complaint for the best chance of a successful resolution.

Sarelson Law FirmMiami employment attorneys