Are you getting paid when you work through your meal breaks?

No matter which industry employees work in, taking a complete and uninterrupted meal break is nearly impossible. This is exacerbated in our modern world where it seems like everyone is constantly on call and connected. Co-workers email and text each other nearly all day. Employees may stop to take a meal break but then get interrupted by a co-worker who needs help addressing a work issue or customer matter. But, that employee never completes their meal break. Employees often take unpaid meal breaks and do not get paid when they work during those breaks.

Did you know that employers must pay employees for meal breaks that are interrupted for work? Employees must be completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating their meals. If you work during a meal break, your employer must pay you for that time.

If you are made to work during any part of your unpaid meal break – including communicating with co-workers about work matters – or if you have any other issues with not being paid for all time you work, we are here to help. Please contact the Shavitz Law Group at (561) 447-8888 or visit us at www.shavitzlaw.com for a free, no obligation review of your circumstances and consultation regarding your rights.

YOU EARNED IT, NOW LET’S GO GET IT.

Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY. Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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Looking Forward to Potential Employment Law Changes in 2021

2020: it’s been a very tough year. Our country is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment levels are high and people cannot return to work “as normal” given the challenges of the virus spread and containing it.

There’s reason to be optimistic for the future, though. Recently, multiple companies announced vaccines that appear to be very successful in controlling the virus. If these vaccines prove successful, we can look forward to getting the coronavirus under control next year and returning to life as it was pre-pandemic.

What does that mean for employment law? With the new administration entering the White House, you can anticipate that many new employee-friendly laws will be proposed. Some potential laws that we predict are:

● Mandates for businesses to provide personal protective equipment to employees to keep them safe going forward;
● Protections for workers who are working from home to ensure that they are being paid for all time worked and companies are accurately tracking their hours worked;
● Preventing companies from forcing workers to give up their rights to bring cases in court through one-sided arbitration agreements;
● Laws eliminating the gender pay disparity between men and women; and,
● Laws creating universal paid sick days and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

We also anticipate a large-scale investment program to bolster small businesses that suffered during the pandemic. This investment will allow small businesses to get back on their feet and grow the local economy, which, in turn, will lead to increased employment and a stronger economy.
This year has brought enormous heartache and pain to countless Americans. Yet, the future remains bright. Together, we will overcome this virus, stronger and more resilient than ever.

If you have questions about whether your employer is violating the new federal requirements, or if you have any other employment concerns, please do not hesitate to call the Shavitz Law Group for a free consultation at (800) 616-4000.

YOU EARNED IT, NOW LETS GO GET IT.
Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY. Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.
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Are You Paid When You Work Through Your Lunch Breaks?

Have you ever sat down to eat your lunch and have a co-worker interrupt you with a work question?  Have you ever clocked out for lunch only to be interrupted by a customer needing help?

Before you know it, you’ve spent your lunch period working and you never got a break.  Even worse, your employer required you to clock out for lunch so you never got paid for your work. When you work during a lunch break, the law requires that employers pay for such time.  However, many workers never get paid for this time.  

In order for a meal break to be unpaid time, the law requires that the employee be “completely relieved of duty.”  For example, eating at your desk while continuing to respond to e-mails or doing other computer tasks is work for which you  should be paid.

This unpaid wage issue is prevalent in many different industries.  Retail and restaurant workers frequently get interrupted to help customers during their breaks.  Drivers, installers, and delivery workers typically travel from location to location during the day and never have time to take a full meal break.  Office workers face the same issues with e-mails, phone calls, and supervisors’ demands interrupting their lunch break time.  Nurses and other medical workers frequently get called to help patients during their lunch breaks.

Shavitz Law Group is here to help. When facing lawsuits for these claims, employers have paid substantial amounts of money to settle the claims.  If you worked through lunch breaks without being paid, please contact us at slg@shavitzlaw.com or 800-616-4000.

 

YOU EARNED IT, NOW LETS GO GET IT.

Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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Gig Economy – When “Independent Contractors” Are Eligible for Employee Benefits

Many people work in the “gig economy.”  They drive for Uber or Lyft; they provide food delivery services for Postmates or Grubhub; they also deliver groceries through Amazon.  Many gig workers have “independent contractor” agreements with these companies which provide them with terms of compensation.  Oftentimes, these agreements do not include overtime pay or benefits.  In fact, not paying overtime and providing benefits is one of the reasons companies have these agreements — they save big bucks by not paying workers what they’re rightfully owed.

Recently, employees have challenged their “independent contractor” status, arguing that
the agreements closely control the employees’ work.  For example, these companies
often dictate to which customers they deliver and when they must work.  Depending on
the level of control, courts have found that many “independent contractors” are really not
independent contractors, but rather that they are employees and must be compensated
accordingly with overtime pay, unemployment benefits, and appropriate breaks.

Shavitz Law Group, P.A. has successfully helped many employees who have challenged
their classification as independent contractors. If you work as a driver, courier, or other
type of independent contractor and you’re curious whether you should be paid overtime
wages and other benefits, please contact us at slg@shavitzlaw.com or 800-616-4000. 
We have will provide a free consultation and assess whether you are properly classified.

YOU EARNED IT, NOW LETS GO GET IT.

Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800
3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ,
and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on
advertisements alone.
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Call Center and Customer Service Representatives: Are You Being Paid for All Time Worked?

Many call center and customer service representatives are not paid correctly. These employees arrive at work before the start of their shift to allow time to boot up their computers, load the necessary programs and software to perform their tasks, and review e-mail correspondence to be ready to take calls. However, many call center and customer service representatives do not start getting paid until they clock in after performing all of these tasks.

Companies often tell these employees not to clock in until they are “call ready.” However, the call center and customer service representatives spend about 5 to 10 minutes each shift working to become “call ready.” They are not paid for this time. These employees often clock out and finish up paperwork while off-the-clock and without being paid. Over the course of a month, this adds up!

The U.S. Department of Labor stated that call center and customer service representatives must be paid for the time spent starting the computer to download work instructions, computer applications, and work-related emails. Some states have even stronger workplace laws protecting these employees.

However, companies still do not comply with the laws and these workers get shorted out of hundreds or thousands of dollars per year.

In addition, many call center and customer service representatives work unpaid time during their training period. Companies often require these workers to study training materials and company policies and procedures at home. Yet, these companies do not pay these workers for this time in violation of the wage laws.

In recent years, our law firm has represented hundreds of Call Center and Customer Service Representatives in unpaid wage cases. We take on the largest companies in America who try to take advantage of our clients.

If you worked in a call center or customer service representative role and want to learn about your rights, please contact The Shavitz Law Group at slg@shavitzlaw.com or at 800-616-4000 for a free consultation. We would be happy to assist you in a free consultation to discuss your employment concerns.

YOU EARNED IT, NOW LETS GO GET IT.

Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY. Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.
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Understanding the New Sick Leave and Child Care Laws to Help Families Impacted by COVID-19

Paid leave and child care amidst pandemic

Understanding the New Sick Leave and Child Care Laws to Help Families Impacted by COVID-19In recent weeks, Congress has passed paid leave laws for certain workers to address the COVID-19 pandemic.  One notable law is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which requires businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid short-term sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19. Another law provides money for childcare for families impacted by the virus. Details concerning paid leave measures for employees amidst the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

Some key highlights of the new laws are:

  • The sick leave law requires that employers provide up to two weeks of sick leave at full pay (up to $511 per day) if the employee is directly affected by COVID-19.
  • The law also provides partial pay of up to $200 a day to care for affected family members suffering from COVID-19.
  • The law also requires that employers provide long-term paid family and medical leave up for up to an additional 10 weeks and $200 per day for their employees. This measure will help to provide for children whose schools or childcare facilities are closed as a result of the pandemic.

In these challenging times, it’s important that you know your rights in the workplace, especially as new laws are being passed on a weekly basis that change how employers must operate. As we adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to be vigilant to ensure you get what you have rightfully earned. Facts and questions (FAQs) concerning the Families First Coronavirus Response Act can be found here.

If you have any questions about any of these laws or have another workplace issue that you would like to discuss, please contact us for a free consultation at slg@shavitzlaw.com or 800-616-4000.

 

YOU EARNED IT, NOW LETS GO GET IT.

Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Covid-19 Paid Leave Rule

Sick leave relief to workers

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Covid-19 Paid Leave RuleIn recent weeks, Congress has passed paid leave laws for certain workers to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  One notable law is the first federal law requiring businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid short-term sick leave for reasons pertaining to COVID-19.

Some key highlights of the new laws are:

  • The sick leave law requires employers to provide up to two weeks of sick leave at full pay (up to $511 per day) if the employee is directly affected by COVID-19.
  • The law also provides partial pay up to $200 a day to care for family members suffering from COVID-19.
  • The law also requires that these employers provide long-term paid leave for up to 10 weeks and $200 per day for its employees to care for kids whose schools or childcare facilities are closed.

In these challenging times, it is vital to know your rights in the workplace — particularly when new laws are being passed on a weekly basis and changing how employers must operate.

If you have any questions about any of these laws or have another workplace issue that you would like to discuss, please contact us for a free consultant at slg@shavitzlaw.com or 800-616-4000.

 

YOU EARNED IT, NOW LETS GO GET IT.

Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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Am I an Independent Contractor or an Employee?

Misclassified and Miserable

Misclassified and Miserable?In recent years, companies have started classifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Independent contractors have the ability to decide when they will work, which tasks they will person, and negotiate their pay per task.

While some companies correctly classify its employees as independent contractors and do not have to pay those workers overtime wages, many other companies wrongly classify their workers as independent contractors. The companies often do this to avoid paying overtime wages and providing benefits to their employees. If a worker is economically dependent on a company, and if the company exercises much control over the worker, more likely than not such worker should be regarded as an employee and not an independent contractor.

Companies who have violated these laws have faced multimillion-dollar lawsuits and have paid huge settlements to their worker for backpay.

If you are classified as an independent contractor and are wondering if you really should be classified as an employee who is eligible for overtime pay and benefits, please contact the Shavitz Law Group at 800-616-4000 or slg@shavitzlaw.com. We represent employees, including misclassified independent contractors, across the United States in unpaid overtime litigation.  We can provide a free consultation to see if you are wrongly classified as an independent contractor and if you may be owed money damages.

 

YOU EARNED IT, NOW LETS GO GET IT.

Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 800 3rd Ave, Suite 2800, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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