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A number of high-profile companies were using Facebook ad-targeting tools to block older workers from seeing job ads...This is a trend that may become a target for attorneys, says Port St. Lucie, Florida-based labor and employment attorney David Miklas. Those employers “may be sued for age discrimination because they arguably are intentionally excluding older applicants,” he says... Miklas says that companies whose employee populations don’t mirror their communities or customer bases lose credibility when it comes to valuing diversity. If a complaint is filed against a company with more than 15 employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may begin to ask hard questions about why that’s the case, he says. In addition, if certain populations of employees are all in a specific type of job—such as hiring people of color, people with disabilities, or older workers for roles that don’t have advancement potential, for example–that could also be an indicator that the company is only paying lip service to diversity, he says.
“It doesn’t mean that the employer has been trying to avoid hiring black workers, or Hispanic workers, or older workers, or something like that. It just may be a coincidence. However, those coincidences get scrutinized when either an employment lawyer is looking at it, or, the EEOC is looking at it,” he says.
The CNN video relies on an investigation David Miklas conducted into allegations of inappropriate conduct that supported a recommendation for termination.
Our team includes legal research assistance from Jamy E. Barreau, who recently graduated from Barry University School of Law and passed the Florida Bar exam. While at Barry University, Jamy worked tirelessly on Barry's Law Review, Editorial Board- Research and Technical Editor. Additionally, Jamy's work is published in Florida’s Contradiction and the Tipped Employees’ Plight: Why the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 Mandates that Florida Raise the Tipped Minimum Wage and the Necessary Standard of Review, 22 BARRY L. REV. 295 (2d ed. 2017).
Recently, David Miklas was quoted in an article published by ADP addressing training workers on technology in the workplace in which he was quoted as follows: "Employers should absolutely be training their older workers...But some employers may feel it's not worth the investment because these employees may be close to retirement. Miklas points to a CareerBuilder report that indicates that the age 55-plus workforce has grown by 40 percent since 2001.The benefits of continuing to train this segment of the workforce, he says, includes greater professionalism, stronger work ethic, greater reliability, high engagement and low turnover. 'They are, in fact, much more likely to stay around than their millennial colleagues, making the investment in training a wise investment,' says Miklas."
When you are threatened with an employment lawsuit, there are rigid deadlines, and many legal documents are confusing. I help Florida businesses handle all types of labor and employment matters so that they can concentrate on what’s important - running their business. Business owners should be able to spend their time with their customers, rather than in depositions or courtrooms. Although I can be aggressive in court when needed, I have found that many potential legal problems can be prevented if I am consulted before a lawsuit is filed. I regularly work with Florida companies from just a couple of employees to over six thousand employees and I have experienced a wide range of complex workplace issues, from union organization to requests for accommodation, to sexual harassment investigations.
I have owned several businesses myself, including landscaping, painting, and pressure-washing, and I have seen first-hand the things that business-owners have to deal with. I am a straight-forward person and my main goal is to work with a small business or the Human Resource Director when they have a legal question. I believe that most business owners in Florida would rather ask me questions over the phone that could fend off a discrimination or retaliation lawsuit, than spend over a year litigating it. Not all litigation can be avoided, and when a Florida business receives a letter from a lawyer or an EEOC charge of discrimination, I stand ready to help you through the process. My experience, counseling and litigating on behalf of employers allows you to feel comfortable to return to running your business, instead of finding yourself overwhelmed and worried about your court case or government investigation.
Miklas said the EEOC has spent the last 30 months looking for definitive statements to convince jurors Seasons 52 systematically discriminates against applicants older than 40. But the EEOC will also try to overwhelm jurors with hundreds of small examples of discrimination to add up to a pattern, he said.
“The best case for the EEOC would be an employee being told he was fired or not hired because he is too old. That is direct evidence of age discrimination,” Miklas said. “But you don’t need to have a bright-line smoking gun.”
David Miklas an experienced labor & employment attorney runs Miklas Emplyment Law. He shared this great tip with us: "An employment ad can be highly targeted using a range of criteria like job title, qualifications, skills and industry. The key is to avoid being too narrow in your targeting. For instance if you advertise for applicants aged 22-35, you may get sued for age discrimination because such ads can be successfully argued to exclude older applicants.”
I was a Partner/Shareholder with the West Palm Beach and Ft. Pierce Florida law firm of Richeson & Coke, P.A., which was an AV Preeminent rated firm (peer ranking at the highest level of professional excellence), until the partners (including me) closed the firm. Rather than being bought out by one of the larger employment law firms, I decided to open my own law firm and I continue to practice all types of labor and employment law exclusively representing management (employers), including both private employers, as well as Florida municipalities and school districts.
I have co-authored one of the country's leading legal treatise on Florida Employment law, and I have also co-authored a LexisNexis Expert Commentary in this field of work and, for seventeen years, I have been a contributing author and editor for two leading labor and employment law hornbooks.
I have been listed in Florida Super Lawyers since 2009 and I am a frequent employment law presenter and am a nationally recognized speaker and an invited guest lecturer addressing employment law and human resource issues with over thirty universities, including Harvard, Cornell, NYU, Notre Dame, Duke, Georgetown, Dartmouth and University of California, Irvine.
I am a "double Gator," having graduated from the University of Florida both for my undergraduate degree, as well as the UF College of Law.
Because my labor & employment law firm represents employers throughout Stuart, Palm City, and Jensen Beach, I am a member of the Martin County Bar Association’s Employment Law Committee. I previously served on the Florida Bar Labor & Employment Law Section’s Wage and Hour Administration Liaison subcommittee.
Although laws against age discrimination have existed for decades, ageism persists and is more prevalent in certain industries, such as technology, says David Miklas, an attorney who specializes in management, labor, and employment law.
Central to this issue is a familiar discriminatory stereotype: “Many employers believe that older workers are reluctant to try new technologies,” Miklas says. Worse, “Older female workers are more likely to be perceived negatively than older male workers,” he adds.
“A particularly problematic issue is when an employer has a job posting declaring a preference for ‘new’ or ‘recent’ graduates, or even declaring a preference for specific graduation year,” Miklas says. “The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission views such conduct as illegal because it deters older applicants from applying.”
Despite the legal risks, ageism oftentimes seems like an acceptable bias. “Employers would never advertise for ‘whites only,’ but it is common for employers to run ads that have the result of having a disparate impact on older workers,” Miklas says. “As an example, in 2013 Facebook settled a discrimination case where they had a job listing that included the language, ‘Class of 2007 or 2008 preferred.’"
Another recent problematic trend is for employers to require job candidates to be “digital natives” as opposed to “digital immigrants,” Miklas says, with digital native signaling one who grew up using technology from an early age rather one who adopted technology later in life..
Our main Labor and Employment Law Office is located in Vero Beach, Florida and we meet clients all over the Treasure Coast, in Port Saint Lucie, Stuart, Ft. Pierce, Jensen Beach, Florida but we can also meet with clients anywhere in Florida.
“The mere maintenance of a private business's policy regarding political expression may violate the NLRA if it has what is called a “chilling effect” on an employee's right to discuss wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment, with fellow employees... They're allowed to talk about whether there should be a union, and also discuss their wages [and other political issues that relate to their rights as employees], so a handbook policy which would prevent that would be illegal.”
— David Miklas, Management Labor & Employment Law
David Miklas has been selected as a member of the Academy of Florida Management Attorneys. Only 0.01% of Florida Bar Members in good standing hold this distinction.
Mr. Miklas has been featured as a labor & employment attorney in various news outlets: