Donna Marie Ballman’s Answers

Donna Marie Ballman

Fort Lauderdale Employment / Labor Attorney.

Contributor Level 11
  1. Verbal Abuse, Stressful Working Conditions, Salaried employee required to compete time sheet

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    1 lawyer answer

    It sounds like you have some potential overtime claims. It would depend on whether you are classified as exempt from overtime or not. You'll probably want to speak with an attorney who specializes in Fair Labor Standards Act issues to get a definitive answer. On the issue of harassment, unfortunately many employees have the mistaken belief that, if they are being harassed by their employer, a supervisor, or a co-worker that they automatically have a claim against the employer. This is...

    4 people marked this answer as helpful

  2. Is it illegal to fire someone because of their background even though they did a full background check.

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    2. Stuart M. Address
    2 lawyer answers

    I guess it depends on what they mean by background. If they fired you because of your race, age, sex, disability, national origin, association with a person with a disability, whistleblowing, testimony under subpoena, worker's comp claim, or other protected status, you may have a remedy. Otherwise, in Florida they can fire you for any reason or no reason at all. If it is because of an expunged crime, then I would want to know how they got the information. While it's not illegal for them to...

    3 people marked this answer as helpful

  3. What can I do if my employer does not pay me my unsed vacation pay even if it's stated in the employee handbook?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    1 lawyer answer

    The money is owed. Since it's over the limit for filing in small claims court, I'd suggest contacting an attorney about filing a suit for the unpaid money. It is possible that, once the employer realizes an attorney is involved, they may want to work out a settlement. If not, you should be prepared to sue.

    3 people marked this answer as helpful

  4. What rights do employees have in an work at will state?

    Answered over 3 years ago.

    1. Alan James Brinkmeier
    2. Donna Marie Ballman
    2 lawyer answers

    You’ve been fired or disciplined without justification. You want to sue for wrongful termination. If you lived in New Jersey, California, or some other states, your employer would need to have cause to fire you. Not so in Florida. Florida is an at-will state, which means an employer may fire, demote, hire, promote and discipline employees for pretty much any reason, or no reason at all. The only way to change that is to urge your state legislators to pass more protections for employees....

    2 people marked this answer as helpful

  5. What is a past employer legally allowed to disclose to a potential future employer other than verify that you were an employee?

    Answered almost 5 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    2. Stuart M. Address
    3. L. Maxwell Taylor
    3 lawyer answers

    In general, employers in Florida are protected from a lawsuit if they give truthful information in references. Some employers only give neutral references, that is, dates of employment and job title. If a former employer says something deliberately false, such as telling a potential employer you were fired for theft, they may be liable for defamation of character. They can't legally give out medical information. And if they disclose that you filed with EEOC, as an example, they may have some...

    2 people marked this answer as helpful

  6. Can a unionized company pre-emptively fire employees prior to determining actual wrongdoing?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    1 lawyer answer

    You’ve been fired or disciplined without justification. You want to sue for wrongful termination. If you lived in New Jersey, California, or some other states, your employer would need to have cause to fire you. Not so in Florida. Florida is an at-will state, which means an employer may fire, demote, hire, promote and discipline employees for pretty much any reason, or no reason at all. The only way to change that is to urge your state legislators to pass more protections for employees....

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  7. Can i sue my previous employer for wrongful termination?

    Answered about 5 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    2. Bonita M. Riggens
    3. Alan James Brinkmeier
    3 lawyer answers

    Florida is an at-will state, which means an employer may fire, demote, hire, promote and discipline employees for pretty much any reason, or no reason at all. The only way to change that is to urge your state legislators to pass more protections for employees. That doesn’t mean there are no protections for employees. You should ask yourself the following questions to see if you might be covered under some employment law: Did my supervisors make any comments indicating bias? If your...

    2 people marked this answer as helpful

  8. As an employer why should i pay unemployment benefits to an employee who received a DUI

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    2. Keith John Bruno
    3. Michael Hassen
    4. Jeffrey S. Ashendorf
    4 lawyer answers

    You pay the insurance premiums. The State of Florida pays the benefits if the employee qualifies. If you believe the employee was fired for cause, you can appeal the ruling granting benefits. The only real advantage to appealing is to keep your premium rate from going up slightly. Unless you have lots of employees, challenging unemployment denial may not be worth your time and effort. You will have to show misconduct connected with work to convince the state to withhold benefits.

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

  9. Does an employer have to give a reason for demotion and document it in the employee's file?

    Answered over 5 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    1 lawyer answer

    Unfortunately, Florida is an at-will state. Your employer can demote or fire you for any reason or no reason at all. However, if you were chosen for demotion when others weren't, then you might look to see if the demotion was for an illegal reason. For instance, were others of a different race, age, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, or color chosen to keep their positions when you were demoted? Or had you recently revealed a pregnancy or disability? Had you recently taken FMLA...

    2 people marked this answer as helpful

  10. Are employers obligated to provide paid vacation time to full time salaried employees in Florida

    Answered almost 4 years ago.

    1. Donna Marie Ballman
    1 lawyer answer

    There is no obligation of Florida employers to provide any paid vacation time. If they do provide vacation time, they need to provide it in a non-discriminatory fashion though. If other full-time employees get paid vacation, they can't deny you paid vacation based upon race, age, sex, national origin, etc. and it may also be considered an employee benefit that you're entitled to if you meet the criteria.

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

954-680-6300