Articles Posted in Employment Law

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The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals which governs the State of Florida, recently ruled on May 17, 2011 in the case of Myers v. TooJay’s Management Corp. that private employers can legally deny employment to applicants if they filed for bankruptcy. In doing so, our Circuit is now consistent with similar rulings in the 3rd and 5th Circuits.

However, anyone who is trying to decide whether to file bankruptcy when they are job hunting should keep in mind that prospective employers will pull credit reports. Many employers will rescind offers of employment or refuse to hire a person merely because of a bad payment history. Any delinquent payments could equally affect an employment decision. Refusal to hire someone due to his or her credit history is not by itself unlawful (there may be a limitation as to whether or not a credit report may be pulled if the prospect has not signed an authorization to do so).

In fact, some employers would prefer that a prospective employee has discharged their debts. Many employers would rather not deal with creditors calling its employees during work hours on the job and don’t want the administrative headaches associated with processing wage garnishments. These employers would rather hire someone who is debt-free, instead of someone who has debt problems.

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It was reported in the Miami Herald that a former employee of a foreclosure mill law firm in Tampa Florida sued this week for overtime violations when she and others were forced to work “off the clock”. Florida Default Law Group allowed for five hours of overtime per week, but to keep up with the flood of foreclosure cases, Denise Vasquez alleges that she was routinely required to work even more hours without the federally mandated time and a half required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The case was initially filed in Hillsborough County but was transferred to federal court under the FLSA. Florida Default Law Group remains under investigation by the state attorney general’s office for filing misleading documents in foreclosure cases. Another foreclosure mill law firm with over 1000 employees, Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A., has practically shut down due in large part to the depositions of employees and other information gleaned in the pending attorney general investigation and the pulling of files by Fannie Mae and other major lenders or servicers.

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