The Law Office of Constantine (Dean) W. Papas focuses its¬†practice almost exclusively on employment matters.¬† Employment laws are numerous and complex and cover a wide variety of situations from getting paid properly to being treated fairly in the workplace. When you call into the office, Dean will answer the telephone and discuss your concerns personally.
We handle wage and hour matters to make sure you are paid what you are supposed to be paid and properly compensated for any overtime you work.¬† We examine whether you are actually an independent contractor or an employee entitled to overtime and minimum wage. For example, simply signing an independent contractor agreement in many cases does establish independent contractor status.¬† And your employer advising you that ‚Äúovertime is not paid‚ÄĚ is not a legal policy but we hear that from many of our clients.
Wrongful termination is not a legal term but many of our clients have valid claims for wrongful termination nevertheless.¬† Florida is an ‚Äúat-will‚ÄĚ employment state which simply means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason so long as the reason is not illegal.¬† What are some illegal reasons?¬† There are too many to list but these are some: firing a woman because she complained about sexual harassment by a supervisor; firing an older worker because the employer wants younger, more attractive employees; firing an employee because they are Muslim; firing an employee because they have a sick child they have to take care of; firing an employee because they participated in an investigation; refusing promotion to an African American while promoting less senior, less qualified Caucasian employees; retaliating by demoting or terminating an employee who blows the whistle about illegal activities of the employer.¬† Every case is different and stands or falls on the facts and law.
We also examine, draft, or litigate beaches of employment contracts. ¬†¬†An employee with an employment contract for a certain length of time can only be terminated before the end of the contract according to it terms.¬† Related to employment contracts, we also examine severance agreements to assess if they are fair and if the employee is giving up valuable rights in exchange for compensation.¬† Too often employers seek to ‚Äúbuy off‚ÄĚ valid and potential claims for inadequate compensation.¬† We successfully negotiate severance agreements and when possible obtain a fair amount of compensation in exchange for a valid release.
Non-compete agreements are valid in Florida under certain circumstances.¬† The restrictions of time and place have to reasonable and the employer has to have a protectable interest. We litigate non-compete agreements and review them for their enforceability.¬† If you have doubts about whether you have an enforceable agreement, we will review it and give you a fair opinion.
Related to that are arbitration agreements.¬† They have to be in writing but not always signed by both parties.¬† If you are subject to an arbitration agreement, we litigate claims subject to arbitration the same way we litigate in court.¬† The rules are less formal in arbitration and the process speedier and less expensive but be forewarned, the process is designed to favor the employer otherwise employers would not insist on it.