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Tampa Business Litigation Blog

Did your employee report you for discrimination?

Perhaps you were blindsided to receive a notice from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, informing you that one of your employees had filed a formal complaint against you for discrimination. On the other hand, in your dealings with this employee, you may not be surprised that he or she would take this route. Nevertheless, the next few months, or longer, may be challenging for you.

Understanding the role of the EEOC, and the process that takes place following an employee complaint of discrimination, may help you know what to expect and how to proceed. You will want to be certain that you know your rights and responsibilities before you take any steps that may complicate the process.

The various types of workplace discrimination

There are laws in place that provide individuals in Florida and elsewhere with protection against certain forms of unjust treatment in the workplace. Unfortunately, this might not always stop discrimination from occurring and those who are subjected to such treatment can suffer in a variety of ways. By seeking advice on the various forms of discrimination and the available options for restitution, those who experience a similar scenario could gain a better understanding of how to approach the situation.

Workplace discrimination can come in a variety of forms, each of which could have a substantial impact on one's career. One of the most common types of unjust treatment pertains to gender discrimination. While companies are required to offer the same level of income and benefits to equally-qualified employees regardless of gender, such treatment remains a major concern.

Noncompete disputes: Lawsuit brings hotel project to a halt

A hotel construction project in another state has come to a halt after the owner of another establishment filed a lawsuit accusing another party of violating a noncompete agreement. Business owners in Florida who encounter similar circumstances may wish to know more about the available options to help protect their interests, as the outcome of noncompete disputes can have a major impact on the future of their endeavors. However, some business owners might be uncertain where to turn for advice on how best to approach the situation.

The lawsuit reportedly stems from an incident in which a man purchased a hotel from a group of owners in 2013. He claims that as part of the purchase contract, the group agreed to sign a noncompete agreement that would prevent any of them from owning a hotel within 14 miles of the establishment until 2028. However, the owner of the hotel asserts that one member of the group recently became involved in a project to build two new hotels in the area.

Professor accuses Oklahoma University of breach of contract

There are a variety of issues that can create a rift between employees and employers in Florida and elsewhere. However, contract disputes continue to be one of the leading causes of similar forms of conflict, and in some cases, these disputes could leave all parties involved preparing to protect their interests through litigation. A former professor at the University of Oklahoma has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the school after claiming his position was terminated prior to the end of his employment contract.

The lawsuit reportedly stems from an incident in which the professor says he was informed of the decision to terminate his contract in Feb. 2019. He has accused the university of prematurely ending his employment and he has filed a lawsuit accusing the university of breach of contract. The lawsuit states that his contract was renewed in 2015 and was set to run through 2020.

Project delays and claims of fraud lead to contract disputes

When a company in Florida or elsewhere hires another party to develop and install software upgrades, it typically expects the project to be completed by the agreed-upon date. Any delays in project completion could prove costly for all parties involved and incidents of this nature continue to be one of the leading causes of contract disputes. American Crystal Sugar Co. has reportedly filed a lawsuit against a software company accusing it of failing to uphold the terms of a business agreement and fraud.

The incident reportedly began when American Crystal decided to hire software company Biwer and Associates to install upgrades to outdated systems. American Crystal asserts that it has spent nearly $750,000 obtaining a license and purchasing items the other party claimed would be necessary for the project. However, the company claims it eventually came to believe that Biwer had misrepresented its capabilities and that it would be unable to complete the project.

Business litigation can result if a partner steals funds

Starting and maintaining a business takes a lot of hard work. In many cases, business owners find it easier to work with a team to ensure that the necessary business obligations are met. You may have felt the same way, and as a result, you chose to create a partnership to help distribute the workload.

Though you may have given your business partner candidates a great deal of consideration before making the choice to partner up, issues can still arise down the road. Though some partnership problems could be relatively minor or at least easily resolved, others may need legal action to address.

Walmart files breach of contract claim against Tesla

When companies in Florida or elsewhere order products from another entity, they typically expect the items to work as intended. Not only can a defective product prove costly and/or time-consuming to replace, in some cases, a faulty item could also create a potential safety hazard. Walmart has recently filed a lawsuit that accuses Tesla of breach of contract after claiming that solar panels caused several of its stores to catch on fire.

According to reports, Walmart filed the lawsuit after solar panels the company had purchased from Tesla caused fires to erupt at as many as seven of its department stores. The company says the fires caused significant damage to several of its stores, and it also asserts that it was forced to evacuate each building with each incident. Walmart reportedly claims that an inspection of the solar panels at some of its stores revealed numerous defects.

Trucking company faces breach of contract claim

The sudden termination of a business arrangement could have a significant impact on the future of each party involved. In some cases, there could also be provisions within the terms of the previous arrangement that might prevent a company in Florida from seeking a similar arrangement with another party. PKE Western Truck Leasing has recently filed a lawsuit against Rich Transport, LLC, accusing the company of breach of contract.

According to reports, the incident began when PKE entered into an arrangement in which it agreed to provide tractor capacity and dedicated carriers to Rich. In exchange, the other party reportedly agreed to pay PKE more than $80,000 each month, along with weekly mileage fees. However, eight months into the arrangement, Rich reportedly sent a letter informing PKE that it had decided to end the arrangement.

Olaplex and L'Oreal engage in trade secret disputes

When a company in Florida and elsewhere develops a game-changing product or operational procedure, it may wish to take every measure necessary to protect its intellectual property. Should the company learn that another party has gained access to and is using sensitive information without consent, trade secret disputes may ensue. Startup company Olaplex LLC has recently filed a lawsuit that accuses L'Oreal of theft of trade secrets.

The incident reportedly pertains to the development of a system that provides additional protection to a person's hair throughout bleaching treatments. Olaplex reportedly claims to have developed the system and asserts that the other company gained access to the information during recent business dealings. Olaplex asserts that L'Oreal stole proprietary company secrets and used the information to continue to build its own brand.

Noncompete agreements: Staying up to date on changes

Many businesses in Florida and elsewhere seek to protect their interests by requiring employees to sign a noncompete agreement upon accepting a position within the company. The rules and regulations that govern noncompete agreements are subject to change from time to time. Keeping up to date on current and upcoming changes could prove vital to warding against noncompete disputes.

Due to the restraints similar arrangements could place on one's employment opportunities, these types of agreements have recently come under scrutiny. As such, some states have recently chosen to implement changes to the statues that govern these agreements.. Some of these changes will modify the circumstances in which a noncompete agreement will be applicable, while others may alter the scenarios in which such an agreement will be enforceable.

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