Fort Myers Employment Law Attorneys

Fighting for Employees in Cape Coral and Naples

The employee-employer relationship is not as one-sided as many assume. Though you work for your boss and must meet their expectations to remain employed, you also have inalienable rights as an employee that your employer cannot lawfully violate. State and federal laws extend numerous protections to employees working in Florida. 

If you think you may have been wronged by your employer, you should not wait to discuss your concerns with our team at Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano. Our firm has been advocating for employees in our local communities for over 40 years and is prepared to assist you with many types of scenarios and claims. Our Fort Myers employment lawyers will listen to your story, determine whether you have a case, and review your legal options, including how we can specifically help. We may be able to help you recover compensation and secure other remedies for unlawful conduct. 

You owe us nothing unless we win, so call (239) 908-4930 or contact us online to request a free initial consultation today. Se habla español.

Workplace Discrimination

Many people are aware that discrimination persists in some workplaces, but they may not fully understand how the law defines it or what it looks like in practice. Employers cannot make employment decisions or take any adverse action against you because of your membership in a protected class. Recognized protected classes are established by both state and federal law. 

In Florida, your boss cannot discriminate against you because of your: 

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • National Origin
  • Age (Over 40)
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Pregnancy Status
  • Marital Status
  • Disability
  • Genetic Information
  • Veteran Status
  • Citizenship Status
  • HIV/AIDS Status
  • Sickle Cell Trait

Workplace discrimination can take many forms, some of which will be extremely obvious and painful to experience. Other discriminatory acts may be subtle by design and more difficult to detect.

Examples of unlawful discriminatory conduct include:

  • Refusing to hire someone because they belong to a protected class
  • Refusing to promote someone because they belong to a protected class
  • Refusing a reasonable accommodation for a disability or religious beliefs
  • Firing someone because they belong to a protected class
  • Retaliating against someone because they belong to a protected class
  • Making inappropriate comments about someone’s belonging to a protected class

In many cases, your employer will not admit they are acting with discriminatory intent. For example, if you learn you and several other employees who all have disabilities are simultaneously being laid off, your boss is more likely to blame “economic conditions” than acknowledge they are engaging in disability-based discrimination. 

Proving workplace discrimination is not easy, especially if your employer is strategic in how they carry out discriminatory acts. If you are not sure whether your employer’s conduct constitutes workplace discrimination, our Fort Myers employment law attorneys can assess your situation and advise whether you have a strong case. 

Sexual Harassment

Though many people associate sexual harassment with misconduct aimed at women, sexual harassment affects people of all sexes, orientations, and identities. Anyone can be subject to inappropriate comments, questions, touching, or advances. Workplace sexual harassment is outlawed because it is considered discrimination on the basis of sex. 

Employers are required to maintain and enforce anti-discrimination policies, meaning they must take meaningful steps to prevent and stop sexual harassment. When sexual harassment is allowed to go unchecked, hostile work environments tend to develop. If you are finding it difficult to do your job because of unwelcome touching, advances, or comments of a sexual nature, you are probably in a hostile work environment. 

You may also be experiencing sexual harassment if you are presented with a quid pro quo, which is a promise of an advantage in exchange for a sexual favor. Quid pro quos can also work like threats, so if your boss implies you could be targeted in the looming layoffs if you do not agree to go out to dinner, you are likely being subject to sexual harassment.

Like with other forms of discrimination, some instances of sexual harassment will be apparent, while others may be tougher to recognize and prove. If you believe you are experiencing any form of sexual harassment, our team at Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano will listen to your story and help you explore your legal options.

Wrongful Termination

Because Florida is an “at-will” employment state, many people mistakenly believe you can be fired or let go for any reason. While it is true that Florida employers can terminate employees without cause – meaning they do not need a performance-related or financial reason to justify your dismissal – there are exceptions.

Your boss cannot fire you or lay you off for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons. This means you cannot be fired or laid off because you happen to have certain religious beliefs or because you need a reasonable accommodation for your disability. You also cannot be fired for exercising your rights as an employee, meaning you cannot be dismissed for discussing your wages, declining to do something illegal, reporting unlawful activity, or taking protected leave. 

Unfortunately, employers are seldom honest when justifying why someone is being let go. Layoffs due to poor company performance are often used to mask discriminatory or retaliatory terminations. Proving wrongful termination can be extremely challenging, but our Fort Myers employment lawyers are ready to fight for you.

Unpaid Wages and Overtime

There are no exceptions to the rule that employees must be appropriately paid for all hours worked. Still, some employers go to great lengths to avoid paying employees the money they have earned.

No matter what your boss says, non-exempt employees get overtime pay (1.5 times an employee’s base rate) for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a single workweek. Your employer must pay you the overtime rate even if working overtime was not approved. Your boss is breaking the law if they attempt to edit your timesheets, refuse to pay you the overtime amount, or claim you are not entitled to overtime by misclassifying you. Only highly specific categories of workers are considered “exempt,” so do not assume your boss is being truthful if they claim you do not get overtime.

If you are being denied overtime pay or are having trouble getting compensation for all hours worked, call (239) 908-4930 or contact us online to discuss your situation with our team.

Awards & Associations

  • Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce
  • American Association for Justice
  • Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Avvo
  • Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • The Best of Cape Coral 2020
  • The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • BBB Accredited Business
  • SWFL Inc.
What Sets Us Apart
  • No Fees Until We Win
    We offer Free Consultations, and work on Contingency Fees for Personal Injury cases. This means we ask for nothing from you until your injury case is concluded.
  • Prioritizing Your Experience

    As a member of our community, we want to put your needs first, far ahead of the bottom line. We treat our clients like people, and never just like cases. 

  • In Practice Since 1982
    We at Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano have been in practice for 40 years, which means you can count on our skill, experience, and community value to help you through your case.

Client Testimonials

  • "Answering all my questions and making me feel very important."
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  • "Highly recommend."
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  • "There isn't enough stars for me to give."
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