Florida Employment Lawyer & HR Lawyer
As an employment lawyer, we’ve got you covered when it comes to an employee handbook, employment contract, or noncompete agreement, and so much more!
Legal Support for Employers
What is employment law?
Employment law is a body of law that is designed to support employers and employees. At HR Legal Logistics, we focus strictly on supporting employers. Regardless of size, and whether you have a Human Resources professional or department, every employer can benefit from having an employment lawyer on their side. Many issues can be avoided with the right preventative measures, which is why we take a preventative approach to employment law, as opposed to being reactive. As an employer, you have a responsibility to protect your business and clearly lay out what is expected of your employees. In many cases, this is where an employment agreement with restrictive covenants comes into play, detailed job descriptions, or even employee handbooks. It is not always about making sure the employee agrees, but about making sure they understand what is expected of them. We offer several resources for employers that focus on these very principles. We are adept at identifying future issues and addressing them before they can affect your business. Let us be the support you need to protect your business and your employees by reviewing and/or drafting your documents.
How we help protect your business and your employees:
- Providing legal advice, consultation, and training on all phases of the employee life cycle, from hiring to counseling and termination
- Conducting risk assessments and workplace investigations
- Drafting employment policies
- Implementing employee management strategies
- Addressing employee grievances
- Classifying workers (i.e. independent contractors versus employees)
- Ensuring legal compliance
- Customizing employee handbooks
- Drafting customized job offer letters and job descriptions
- Assisting with onboarding new hires
- Assisting with executing performance improvement plans
- Witnessing employee disciplining and counseling, as well as terminations
- Creating an injury’s and illness prevention program
- Preparing and customizing a variety of tools for human resources functions, including:
- Personnel File Checklists
- Leave Request Forms
- Requests for Reasonable Accommodations
- FMLA Forms and Checklists
- Performance Evaluations
- Discipline Forms
- Incident Forms
- New Hire Packets
- Termination Packets
- Business Expense and Mileage Reimbursement Forms
- Telecommuting Request Form
- Lay-off and WARN Notices
- Employment Contracts
- Independent Contractor Agreements
- Nondisclosure Agreements
- Confidentiality Agreements
- Separation Agreements
How we offer cost-effective legal representation:
Packages are bundled services that allow us to offer flat-fee services so there are never any surprises. Our packages include:
HR Policies Package
- Customizing employee handbook
- Preparing counseling form
- Preparing grievance form
- Preparing time off, medical leave, and reasonable accommodation request forms
Hiring Spree Package
- Customizing employment application
- Preparing new hire checklist
- Customizing job offer and description templates
- Drafting employment agreement or independent contractor agreement, as applicable
- Offering self-paced training for management on interviewing best practices
Performance Review Package
- Customizing annual performance evaluation review form
- Preparing employee self-evaluation form
- Offering self-paced training for management on performance review best practices
HR Department Set-up Package
- Establishing a legally compliant Human Resources Department
- Customizing basic start-up forms
- Reviewing payroll processes
Employment Law & Human Resources FAQs
What is the difference between a business lawyer and HR lawyer?
A business lawyer focuses on a variety of business needs for small, medium, and large businesses, including start-up and formation, contracts, employment issues, and everything in between. Whereas, an HR lawyer only focuses on employment laws, protecting your business and your employees from employment-related issues. We handle both business and HR law matters, so we have you covered all around.
Why does my business need core values?
Core values can help a business grow and thrive. They send a message to clients and workers the kind of business your business is. It begs the question: What matters to you? We work with clients in establishing core values to solidify the right ones for your business, then incorporating them and rolling them out company-wide.
At what time would I need an employee handbook?
Employee handbooks are useful tools whether you have 5 or 500 employees. Indeed their importance grows as your business grows because they are the compilation of your policies and procedures in written form so everyone knows what is expected of them. However, we always recommend at least maintaining a few policies in a handbook to clarify issues like benefits, payroll, etc. We thrive at not only creating employee handbooks, but also reviewing and updating existing employee handbooks, because first we make sure we understand your business and it’s needs to properly customize it.
Do I need a human resources lawyer or employment lawyer to draft my employee handbook?
While it isn’t necessary, having an HR or employment lawyer draft an employee handbook is highly recommended because it guarantees that the policies contained within it are legally compliant (with state and local government) and drafted to best protect you and your business.
When do I know it’s time for my business to begin performance evaluations, and how can a lawyer help?
If you have employees and you have feedback for them, then raise your hand. (Nearly everyone’s hand should be in the air.) It is at this time you know it’s time for your business to start annual performance evaluations. Performance evaluations are often tied to annual increases, employee self-evaluations, and formal meetings for feedback and goal-setting. They can be particularly useful when succession planning and to set a record of performance expectations. On the one hand if you have an employee you want to groom for more, this is a great way to identify that and lay out SMART goals for them. On the other hand if you have an employee with performance issues, this is a way to identify that and help lay out expectations for improvement so there is less of a surprise if you decide you need to terminate the employment relationship. Think of performance evaluations like check-ups for your car, not fun but necessary to run your business.
What is the difference between an employee and independent contractor?
Employees are on you payroll, you cover their taxes, and they are at-will by nature unless they sign an employment contract, meaning their employment can be terminated by you or them at anytime, with or without cause (as long as it is not for an unlawful reason such as a discriminatory or retaliatory reason). Independent contractors have more autonomy, they are usually paid for projects or specific tasks completed over which they have control and decision-making authority. Additionally, taxes are not paid for contractors, and there may or may not be a term depending upon the nature of the relationship. It is our recommendation that independent contractors sign an agreement to protect you and your business, which we can help draft and customize.
Do I have my independent contractors sign the employee handbook?
Independent contracts should not sign an employee handbook because they are not employees.
Should I consult with a lawyer when drafting the company’s severance agreement?
It is advisable to consult with a lawyer and have them draft a severance agreement to make sure you are not including any illegal or overbroad terms in the agreement. Often employees will seek independent counsel before signing, as they should, and the negotiation process could be far more drawn out if it is not properly drafted.
What are employee handbook must-haves?
This is one of our most favorite questions! In fact we wrote an entire e-book on the topic and if you subscribe to our e-newsletter you can download it for free. If you wish to pay for these sorts of things, then jump over to our Resources page and you can download it from your favorite e-book retailer (it’s available on Apple Books, Nook, and Kobo).
How frequently should I have a lawyer review my employee handbook to make sure it’s up-to-date with any new laws?
By having a relationship with an employment attorney you should be given updates of new laws or information, and then you can decide if it is the right time to review and update your employee handbook. We usually recommend giving it a look annually and if you have any questions or desire to change something then that can be done at that time, but at most it shouldn’t be greater than 2 to 3 years that you look at your handbook.
How can an employment lawyer assist with onboarding new hires?
An employment lawyer who doubles as an HR consultant, like us, can help with new hires. First we make sure your job application, interviewing process, and hiring checklist are legally compliant. More so, we then provide you with advice on helping them assimilate and succeed in their new role.
What is FMLA?
FMLA is the acronym for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which overhauled the idea of maternity leave and covers more life events for a greater number of workers. It can provide workers with up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year, among other benefits.
Is there a difference between an employment contract and an employment agreement?
No. The words contract and agreement are synonymous. Regardless of its name the document has the same purpose — to outline the employment relationship and expectations between the employer and the employee.
What are the basics of a solid employment contract?
A simple employment contract should include: At-will provision; Termination clause; Wage & benefit information; Confidentiality, Non-disclosure, Non-compete language.
Why is an employer handbook acknowledgment form so important?
Employers should require signed employee handbook acknowledgments and have them returned to the HR Department because it confirms not only the employees receipt of the handbook, but also that they acknowledge the policies. In some cases it confirms that the employer’s handbook does not create an employment term, but that the employment relationship is still at-will.
Should I update my employee handbook?
Yes, even handbooks can become outdated. As laws change and businesses grow or evolve handbooks should be evaluated and updated. In many cases it could just require a few simple updates to tighten the language, but the employee handbook should be updated nonetheless.
What are the basics of a job description?
Job descriptions should contain enough information and details related to the position’s responsibilities, duties, and essential functions. Often they also have sections that outline the job title, purpose, requisite qualifications, working conditions.
How can I be sure my non compete is enforceable?
A non-compete is a restrictive covenant. In Florida the threshold issue is whether the restrictive covenants are in a writing and signed by the employee. Next, the business has to show a legitimate business interest justifying the non-compete — which could include: (1) trade secrets; (2) valuable confidential business information that is not a trade secret; or (3) “[e]xtraordinary or specialized training.” Finally, the question of reasonableness arises in three contexts—(1) the duration; (2) the geographic area; and (3) the line of business. To ensure it will be upheld as reasonable, guidelines must be met which address the types of information that may be protected and the reasonable duration of the restrictions. The first question of reasonableness is regarding duration. There is a rebuttable presumption in the case of a restrictive covenant that remains in effect following termination of the employment relationship that is not based upon the protection of trade secrets. Where the covenant is enforceable against a former employee, it is presumed reasonable if it is for six months or less, but if it is more than two years, it is presumed unreasonable. Therefore, anything in between seven and twenty-four months is a question of fact. The second question of reasonableness is regarding geographic area. Where the business has a protected interest, which includes confidential information, it is reasonable to restrict an employee from working where the business operates. This is strengthened when the employee has access to the confidential information that is “crucial to the success of” the business, especially if it “may be competitively harmful” in the industry. The third question of reasonableness is regarding the line of business, within the scope of prohibited activities. Where the scope includes protecting confidential information; a ban on directly or indirectly soliciting business from, or performing services for prospective, current, or former customers; or a ban on interfering with other employees’ employment, it is presumptively reasonable as long as there is a legitimate business interest. If deemed unreasonable by a court, possible required changes. If the restrictive covenants are deemed unreasonable, overlong, or overbroad by a court, it is required to modify the language of the agreement.
We are having employee issues, what should we do about them?
In many cases employee issues trigger the need for employee counseling. Counseling or progressive discipline follows many paths, but always starts with verbal warnings (which we always recommend you document for the employee’s personnel file).
Contact a Florida employment lawyer and Human Resources consultant.
Contact HR Legal Logistics to find out how he can help you. You can contact the law firm and speak to an employer’s employment attorney and Human Resources consultant by phone at (561) 480.0779 or by text at (561) 571.8921. You can also contact us by requesting a consultation on this website to schedule an appointment and learn more about Florida Employment Law & HR Law.