Palm Beach Employment Law Local Legal Authority Badge
Attorney at Law Magazine introduces Eugene K. Pettis as your

Palm Beach Employment Law Attorney

Eugene K. Pettis

Eugene K. Pettis

Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm

Eugene K. Pettis, a co-founder of Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, leads a trial practice representing an impressive list of corporate, public sector and individual clients in civil trial matters.  He has over 30 years of experience handling a range of complex cases for defendants and plaintiffs in the areas of medical malpractice, personal injury, commercial litigation, employment and professional liability.  Mr. Pettis attended the University of Florida where he received his Bachelor’s degree in political science in 1982 and his Juris Doctorate degree in 1985.

Mr. Pettis, in June 2013, became the President of The Florida Bar, the first African-American to serve in this position.  In his role at the helm of The Florida Bar, which governs nearly 100,000 attorneys, he provided visionary leadership and brought a passion for giving back to his profession and his community.

He left a legacy of leadership initiatives, which continue at The Florida Bar, including Vision 2016, looking at the future practice of law, as well as the William Reece Smith Leadership Academy which was his brain-child.  He is a sought after keynote speaker who has used his engaging and enthusiastic style to motivate thousands.  Mr. Pettis supports higher education, serving on the University of Florida Foundation’s board of directors where he has recently been named a Life Member for his service, and currently on the board of trustees at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.

Mr. Pettis’ trial and litigation skills are highly regarded as evidenced by the rare recognition by the Best Lawyers in America where he has been recognized as the Lawyer of the Year for plaintiff medical malpractice 2017, Lawyer of the Year for personal injury defense 2018 and Lawyer of the Year for employment law 2013. He is a perennial selection by his peers for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers, the South Florida Legal Guide “Top Lawyers” list and Florida Trends “Legal Elite”.

He was a 2007 inductee to the exclusive invitation only American College of Trial Lawyers and elected by his peers into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). In January, 2013, he was recognized by his ABOTA Chapter as The Trial Lawyer of the Year in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  In recognition of his commitment to community service, Mr. Pettis was recognized in 2012 by the Urban League of Broward County with the Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award. Mr. Pettis received the South Florida Business Journal’s 2014 Ultimate CEO Award which recognizes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County’s top executive for their expertise, leadership and community involvement.

Mr. Pettis is admitted to The Florida Bar (1985). He is admitted to practice in all District Courts in Florida, including Southern District, Middle District and Northern District.

He has two daughters, the oldest a litigation attorney in Orlando and the youngest pursuing her doctoral degree in child psychology.

(561) 264-4179

Contact Eugene K. Pettis

Contact Eugene K. Pettis

About Palm Beach Employment Law

When you decide to start a business, you focus on funding, products, operations, and other immediate start-up concerns. Unless you have prior entrepreneurial experience, you might be surprised to learn about the complex network of employment laws that also require your time and attention. Your failure to comply with employee-related legal standards can lead to enforcement actions, penalties, fines, and unwanted attention from governmental agencies.

Palm Beach Employment law attorneys have the expertise to help your business avoid employee-related legal complications. They assist you in establishing and maintaining compliance with state, local and federal laws that regulate workplace policies and environments. When a compliance issue arises, Palm Beach employment lawyers provide the legal representation you need. They work to minimize the potential for adverse consequences that could affect your business.

The Internal Revenue Service 

The IRS controls business tax issues and many are employee-related. The agency requires businesses to document employee withholding and dependent data. They also have access to the workforce data that substantiates your claimed business expenses. The information you provide or fail to provide can present problems for several employee-related issues.

  • Employee Withholding: Employers are responsible for maintaining employee wage and salary records and paying the appropriate federal income tax withholding for each employee.
  • Employee Classification: Misclassification is a common IRS compliance issue. It occurs when businesses treat workers as though they were employees but classify and pay them as though they were independent contractors. Whether or not it’s intentional, it reduces an employer’s tax and social security withholding responsibilities. If the IRS detects a misclassification issue, they request payment of all unpaid withholding amounts and may assess a penalty.
  • Affordable Care Act: As the ACA is still in effect, businesses must file employee health insurance compliance documentation with their federal taxes each year.

The US Department of Labor Fair Labor Standards Act

The DOL administers and enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA is a compilation of federal standards that define employment terms and govern employer/employee relationships. Compliance failures sometimes lead to back payments and penalties.

During the 2019 fiscal year, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recovered $322 million from companies that failed to comply with wage and overtime guidelines. Over the past five years, the agency recovered more than $1.4 billion in wages for underpaid workers across the country. The DOL enforces violations related to a number of FLSA employment issues.

  • Child Labor
  • Tipped Employees
  • Minimum Wages and Youth Minimum Wages
  • Nursing Mothers
  • Industrial Home Workers
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Agricultural vs Non-Farm Employees
  • Federal Record-Keeping Standards

The National Labor Relations Board

The NLRB investigates allegations that an employer retaliated against an employee for asserting their workplace rights. They pursue cases involving several rights violation categories.

  • Employee Rights: Guarantees employees’ right to organize or choose not to organize
  • Employer/Union Rights Obligations: Forbids employers from interfering with union activities
  • Social Media: Protects employees’ right to address work concerns in workplace conversations and on social media
  • National Labor Relations Act Right to Strike: Protects employees’ striking rights, their right to collective bargaining, and their right to “mutual aid and protection”

Occupational Health and Safety

OSHA investigates workplace safety violations based on guidelines established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The agency conducts accident site investigations to determine compliance with OSHA safety standards. They assess penalties when a serious injury or death occurs because of an employer’s failure to comply.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The EEOC enforces federal laws that ban discriminatory practices against job applicants and employees. Designated classes include race, color, religion, sex or gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and disability. The agency also investigates cases where employees allege retaliation for filing an EEOC complaint.

Contact an Palm Beach Employment Law Attorney

Federal employment laws and guidelines cover a wide spectrum of issues. For many business owners, they are often complex and difficult to interpret. Employment law attorneys in Palm Beach provide valuable assistance by identifying relevant employment issues and providing guidance, advice, and assistance with compliance problems.


Share No Comment