I keep getting calls about harassment, hostile work environment and so forth. People just can’t get it through their understanding of the employment relationship that, in Florida anyway, your employer can just about do anything to an employee that it wants so long as it doesn’t discriminate against the employee on the basis of the employee’s membership in a protected classification, e. g., Age, race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, HIV or marital status, or retaliate against an employee for reporting discrimination or objecting to or refusing to participate in the violation of a law, rule, or regulation, also known as whistleblowing, or for filing a Worker’s Compensation claim. Absent any of those exceptions, there’s really no check on what how an employer treats an employee. Every day I get calls from people complaining about the treatment they are receiving from their supervisor, manager, or director, and yet I have to, after going through the litany of exceptions and determining that none apply, advise the particular individual that I cannot help them because the law is the way the law is. The moral of the story is if you want different laws vote for different elected officials. If the elected officials that are in office are not enacting laws that you like, or that help you, then you must, must, must vote for people who will. Unfortunately, in Florida especially, that may mean voting for someone who while he or she may not support a particular issue that’s important to you, they do support more issues that are important to you than not and you’re just gonna have to give up some to get the others, depending on priority of importance. I once had a client complain to me about the lack of benefits he was receiving due to be injured on the job and it was right after an election so I asked him who he voted for. After he told me, I asked him why he voted for that particular individual. He responded, “because the other guy was going to take away my gun.” I then told him that I hoped he was a good shot and he asked me why? I told him because the guy he voted for was taking away his food. That is, the guy he voted for enacted laws that reduced this client’s benefits due to his on the job injury. He went away mad, but vowing to be more careful and read more about who exactly he was voting for.
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