Shavitz Law Group – Are you getting paid when you work through your meal breaks?

Blog Source: Shavitz Law Group

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 http://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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Shavitz Law Group – Employers could pay penalties for not paying Overtime

Blog Source: Shavitz Law Group

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay all overtime-eligible (non-exempt) employees overtime at a rate of one-and-a-half times employees’ regular rate of pay for all overtime hours worked (absent limited exceptions). Frequently, employers fail to do so in a myriad of ways: by making employees work off-the-clock, by interrupting their meal periods, by improperly rounding their time punches or by manually adjusting their time entries. While doing this may result in employers saving a little money in the short term by cheating employees out of their rightfully earned wages, this practice can ultimately become costly.

The reason failing to pay overtime wages can become so costly is because the FLSA provides for “liquidated damages.” Liquidated damages are equal to the amount of back overtime wages owed. An employer can only avoid paying liquidated damages if it can prove that its failure to pay overtime wages was made in “good faith.” Because this is a difficult burden to meet, if an employer is found to have wrongfully deprived its employees of overtime pay, it may be responsible for double back pay to the employee. The double damages policy is designed to be severe by nature in order to hopefully discourage employers from breaking the law when it comes to overtime wages.

If you believe that you were wrongfully denied overtime pay, do not hesitate to contact us at info@shavitzlaw.com or at (800) 616-4000 for a free evaluation of your claim.

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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Shavitz Law Group – What’s Up with WFH and Overtime?

Blog Source: Shavitz Law Group

Nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, “working from home” or “WFH” is part of our everyday language. The virus seemed to come out of nowhere and forced many employers to rush into remote working arrangements. Because of this, many did not have time to prepare or to consider the legal ramifications of WFH.

With the transition to a remote workforce, the traditional 9-5 workday seems to have morphed into a 24-7 working arrangement. Personal and work life has blurred as the phone, computer and other devices constantly ping workers at all hours, with many employers expecting instantaneous responses. Remote employees, most of whom are just grateful to still be employed during the recession, often feel compelled to be available to their employers around the clock. Not surprisingly then, remote employees often report working longer hours than ever before as work blends into home life. Even more often, these employees are not paid for all hours worked, as their employers either (1) fail to properly track their time, (2) believe that the ”luxury” of working from home allows them to contact their employees at any time, but not pay for that time, or (3) simply do not understand that responding to an employer’s communications – whether via email, text, video chat, IM, or any other electronic communication platform – constitutes “work” within the meaning of the law.

To ensure they are paid all time worked, employees should record all hours on the employer’s timekeeping system. If the employer does not have a timekeeping system, or if the system does not permit an employee to enter time outside of regularly scheduled hours, the employee should then keep a record of all time worked outside of regularly scheduled hours and report that time to their employer at the end of the work week.

If your employer is refusing to pay you for all time worked – including time spent responding to communications outside of your regular shift or after normal business hours – or for any other questions regarding pay or overtime, don’t hesitate to contact Shavitz Law Group at (561) 447-8888 or visit us at http://www.shavitzlaw.com for a free, no obligation review of your circumstances and consultation regarding your rights.

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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Shavitz Law Group – Looking Forward to Potential Employment Law Changes in 2021

Blog Source: Shavitz Law Group

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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Shavitz Law Group- Floridians’ Message Loud and Clear: Raise the Wage

Blog Source: Shavitz Law Group

Previously, we reported that Floridians would be given a choice on the November election ballot to increase the state’s minimum wage from $8.56 per hour to $15 per hour.  Millions cast their vote, and over 60 percent of Floridians said YES to Amendment 2, increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour — joining California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

While this certainly impacts Floridians’ bottom lines, the change will be gradual.  The minimum wage in Florida will increase to $10.00 per hour starting on September 30, 2021.  Every September 30th thereafter the minimum wage will increase by $1.00, reaching $15.00 per hour on September 30, 2026.  Every year afterward the minimum wage will be reviewed for additional, potential adjustment by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. 

Make sure to keep the wage increase schedule in mind to ensure you are being paid every dollar you are entitled to for every bit of your hard work.  If you have any questions about how this change in Florida’s wage laws affects your minimum wage or overtime wage rights, don’t hesitate to contact Shavitz Law Group at (561) 447-8888 or visit us at http://www.shavitzlaw.com for a free, no obligation review of your circumstances and consultation regarding your rights. 

YOU EARNED IT, NOW 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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Just how common is medical malpractice?


Medical malpractice cases are frightening, to say the least.

A study by Johns Hopkins University found that over 250,000 patients die annually from medical error, placing medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. That’s 10 percent of all annual deaths in the United States.

These deaths can occur due to many factors: disregard of proper safety measures, uncoordinated health care, varied practice patterns, and more. It is an unfortunately common institutional problem, ultimately caused by a breach of patient care. That’s why it’s so important to know the common types of medical malpractice, so that you’ll know if you’ve been affected

Misdiagnoses make up a large number of medical malpractice claims. If a condition is left misdiagnosed – or undiagnosed – a patient could run the risk of serious damage, or even death. In these types of cases, it is important to show that the accused doctor handled the patient’s case wrong by showing that someone else would not have made the same error.

These types of cases can lead to prescription errors, another form of medical malpractice. If a doctor prescribes an inappropriate drug and dosage, or misses a harmful drug interaction, the patient may have a basis for a medical malpractice claim. In a similar way, anesthesia errors – less frequent, but very dangerous – can cause serious harm or death. In these cases, a doctor may have given too much anesthesia, used poor equipment, improperly inserted a tracheal tube, and more.

Patients also run the risk of error during surgery and childbirth. Some surgery errors may include operating on the wrong part of the body, puncturing a blood vessel or an organ, or not removing surgical equipment from inside the body. Surgery errors can also take place during postoperative care, if healthcare staff give inappropriate medications or use improper procedures that could cause the patient to heal poorly.

In pregnancy and childbirth malpractice, negligent medical treatment can harm the mother and the fetus during pregnancy. Some of these errors can include failure to diagnose medical conditions, failure to diagnose a contagious disease, or failure to notice potential birth defects in the fetus. During childbirth, errors such as ignoring birth complications, leaving the umbilical cord tangled around the baby, or inappropriate use of tools like a vacuum extractor or forceps can provide the basis for a medical malpractice claim.

If you think that you are the victim of medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact an attorney. They can help you thoroughly review what happened by inspecting medical records, taking interviews, and more.

How to Start a Business in Maryland

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You’ve had the idea for months, and you’re ready to start your new small business. While the process will inevitably be challenging, it will also be extremely exciting to see your idea finally come to life. With the right resources and information at your disposal, you can help ensure your new business’ success and growth for years to come.

Business laws and requirements differ from state to state. Luckily, the Comptroller’s Office here in Maryland has a convenient online portal to help new business owners manage tax accounts, obtain business licenses and learn about tax credits, as they relate to Maryland in particular. However, it’s a good idea to know the specific steps for starting a new business in this state:

Type of business.

What type of business will you be starting? You’ll most likely end up identifying your business as one of four structures: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company. It is crucial that you choose the correct structure, because each one has its own benefits and drawbacks. You can seek advice from an attorney, an accountant or another professional to help you make this decision.

Registering your business.

Once you choose your business structure, you’ll have to register its name. The Department of Assessments and Taxation offers an online Maryland Business Express portal that provides step-by-step instructions on how to register.

Business permits or licenses.

It’s extremely important that you research whether or not you’ll need a permit or license to run your business – many businesses require them. You may also need individual occupational and professional licenses for yourself and those you hire. Check the statewide or county licensing databases to check your specific requirements. The Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation can also answer questions about your licenses.

Business Tax Information.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will issue you a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). It is necessary that you contact their office to register, because an EIN is required for situations such as business and employee withholding and federal unemployment insurance. The Maryland Business Express portal can assist you with registering for your EIN.

All businesses in Maryland are required to file an annual report by April 15 each year. In addition, the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation will collect an annual tax based on the value of your business’ personal property. If you have not registered as a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership or limited liability partnership, you will need to register with the MDAT for an identification number and file a personal property tax return each year.

Developing a business plan.

The key to success in any business is a firm plan. There are many resources available to help get you started, including the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Center Network and SCORE. You can also seek the advice of an experienced attorney.

Starting your own business is challenging, but in the end, knowing what resources you have available will help to make your business successful.
For more information, or to determine how to market yours services to those starting their own businesses, please contact Paul Herrmann at paul@pherrmannlaw.com or at 410-703-4993.