William B. deMeza Jr. is a partner in Holland & Knight's Tampa office. Mr. deMeza represents employer clients in labor, employment discrimination, minimum wage/overtime, employment contract and OSHA matters throughout the United States. Clients have included restaurants, manufacturers, financial institutions, retail stores, government contractors, insurance companies, shipyards, and mining companies.
Mr. deMeza has served as employers' counsel in race, sex, sexual harassment, age, religion, national origin and handicap (disability) employment discrimination charges filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, and local EEO agencies. He has litigated numerous claims (including class action claims) brought against our employer clients under the various federal and Florida discrimination laws. He has extensive experience in minimum wage/overtime counseling and litigation, including defense of nationwide "collective action" claims based on improper classification of employees as "exempt" and "off the clock" work in various industries. Mr. deMeza also frequently counsels clients about reductions in force ("RIFs") and related issues such as the decisional process and employee selection criteria, severance pay, compliance with the age discrimination, plant closing laws, RIF alternatives, and implementation of the downsizing (including preparation and training of HR and executive personnel).
A significant segment of Mr. deMeza's practice focuses on advising employers about employee safety and health issues. He regularly represents clients in contesting citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Mine Safety and Health Commissions. For example, he contested the first federal OSHA heat stress citation issued in the glass container industry.
Mr. deMeza prepares employment contracts and frequently litigates breaches of such contracts and enforcement of noncompetition agreements. He develops or reviews clients' personnel policy manuals, employee and supervisor handbooks, employee applications, affirmative action plans, and personnel policies (including drug testing, polygraphing, and AIDS policies) for compliance with OFCCP, EEO, and wage‑and‑hour laws.
During law school, he served as Editor & Chief of the Law Review. He was a law clerk to the Honorable James M. Sprouse of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1980-1981.
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