In the case of Colon v. Accountable Climate Solutions, Inc., Brick Business Law prevailed in its Motion for Final Summary Judgment in full defense of the Plaintiff’s case and was awarded its attorney’s fees and costs. The case was brought by a former employee of Brick’s client who claimed he was forced to work overtime and was due unpaid wages and overtime wages. Brick was able to obtain admissions and secure other documentary and testimonial evidence which left no genuine issue of material fact to be litigated as to the employee’s claims and the Motion for Final Summary Judgment was brought on behalf of the employer in May of 2019.
Pursuant to Florida Statute 448.08, the prevailing party in any action for unpaid wages may be awarded their reasonable attorney’s fees from the non-prevailing party. Although it is not required, the Court found that Brick had properly noticed, plead and supported entitlement to all fees and costs and, in addition to rejecting all of the employee’s claims, entered a final judgment against the employee for all of the fees and costs incurred by the defendant in defense of the suit.
Critical to the defense of the case was the employer’s record-keeping system, its document-management system and implemented practices, which required the employer and employee to sign-off on and document hours, jobs and earnings. Certain employers are subject to record-keeping requirements with regard to employee records. Additionally, EEOC, FDA and FLSA each have their own requirements for how long employment records must be retained. However, even where records are not required, clearly set-out processes of signing in and out, approving hours, requiring employees to sign-off, setting up policies and procedures which are consistently enforced, having a clearly-defined compensation plan and maintaining employment records are all best practices which can make the difference in the defense of an informal claim or a lawsuit by a former employee brought for a number of different reasons.
If you own or manage a Florida-based business with employees, its best to have a Florida business attorney review the policies and procedures and advise with regard to the implementation of such policies and procedures in the workplace. These steps can make the difference for the long-term success of the business.
Brick Business Law has offices in Tampa, Orlando and St. Petersburg and advises businesses on issues related to employment and business law. The firm offers free initial consultations as well as a hourly, flat fee and monthly pricing options. Consultations can be arranged by calling the main office at 813-816-1816 or through a submission on the Firm’s website.