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Friday, November 15, 2019

California Bans Forced Arbitration For Discrimination Claims - Will Other States Follow?

Starting in 2020, employers in California are banned from requiring employees to agree to arbitration of state discrimination and labor law issues. That's good news for employees, maybe. And it may have an impact beyond California.

Arbitrations are bad for a number of reasons when done as mandatory processes rather than truly voluntary. Employees have been pushing back on mandatory arbitration, sometimes successfully. So this law will hopefully prevent abusive forced arbitrations in California.

This could affect employees beyond California if they work for a company with offices in California. Many will simply drop forced arbitration across the board.

I say maybe it's good for employees because there's still the Federal Arbitration Act to deal with. Employers will argue that this California law is preempted by the FAA, which allows abusive forced arbitration. I'm guessing we'll see litigation about this soon.

We need action in other states, and we need action on the federal level to ban abusive forced arbitrations. Arbitration can be a wonderful thing if truly voluntary and truly fair. We need to make sure that all employees get to make a real choice rather than being forced into an unfair process.

C'mon Florida. Let's do something to help employees for a change.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Florida Workers Get A Whopping Ten Cents, But There's Hope

Yipee! Florida's minimum wage is going up a whopping 10 cents, from $8.46/hour to $8.56/hour. Tipped workers will get $5.54/hour.

If that news generates a big yawn, or a "how the heck can anyone live on that?" there's hope. 

A new petition to very gradually raise Florida's minimum wage to $15/hour just got enough signatures to make the ballot in November. It would raise the minimum wage to $10 in September 2021, and then go up $1 annually after that. So it wouldn't be until 2026 that it finally gets to $15. 



Hey, at least it's something. Other states have already raised minimum wage to $15: California will have it by 2022, New York by 2020.  Washington's will be $13.50 in 2020. Arizona and Colorado have raised theirs to $12 effective in 2020. Oregon's is currently $11.25 and will be $13.50 by 2022.

Surely Florida can do at least as well as these states for its workers. To me, the ballot measure is a no-brainer. The current minimum wage means people working those jobs live below the poverty line. If you're thinking folks should just get a better job, that doesn't solve the problem, does it? It just means that some other worker will live in poverty instead. Do you really believe that some full time jobs need to be done but the people who do them should live in poverty? I didn't think so.

Make sure you vote in November to raise the minimum wage in Florida.

If you think minimum wage is too low and want to help, then check out the Fight for 15. They are teaching workers to organize to fight for better wages.