Florida is an at-will employment State, meaning that an employer can terminate an employee at any time with or without cause. In particular, when you feel that you were fired due to an unfair practice by your employer, discrimination or retaliation, you owe it to yourself and your coworkers to seek advice from an experienced employment attorney or law firm such as the Lewis Law Group.
Companies can be in violation of the employee’s rights in termination cases where whistle blowing, harassment, discrimination, or other elements are involved. Most people believe they have no rights in the event of dismissal or layoff because Florida is an at-will employment state. This is not true!
Some people believe that they have been fired or let go of unfairly and often consider this a wrongful termination. Since Florida is an at-will employment State, the termination must fall under an ‘exception’ to the general ‘at will’ rule to be considered wrongful. These categories include but are not limited to:
- employment discrimination
- overtime compensation
- retaliation claims
- sexual harassment
- wage and hour disputes.
Therefore, what is considered to be ‘wrongful termination’ in Florida, is really a description of your damages and simply is a violation of the employee’s civil rights. For example, if a person is fired because of their age, race, religion, etc, that would be illegal, as employers are not allowed to do that. The employee would then sue for discrimination and not wrongful termination as most naturally perceived. In other words, you will be suing for the exception to the rule.
Unless you have an employment contract, under Florida’s at-will employment laws, you can be terminated without cause and without notice. Here are a few examples in layman’s terms to help paint a clearer picture:
- If you were terminated because you are a female, which is wrong, you would not sue for wrongful termination but rather you would sue under the discrimination law, more specifically, the gender discrimination law.
- If you were terminated because you took off with pursuance of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) even with permission, you would not sue for wrongful termination. It would be a violation of your rights under the FMLA.
- You were hurt on the job and your employer had to pay your medical benefits and they retaliate and let you go. You would not sue for a wrongful termination, but rather, a violation under the Worker’s Compensation Act.
There are often cases where the employee is unsure of why they were terminated. When in consultation with the Lewis Law Group, more specifically Christopher Lewis who is our practice’s Labor and Employment Law attorney, it would be necessary to provide all evidence of your ‘wrongful termination’ claim. Once again, because Florida is an at-will employment State, your claim has to be a violation of a particular right.
The Lewis Law Group wants to help you determine if you have a legitimate case that violates a civil right within the workplace. We are passionate in the pursuit of justice on your behalf. We have 38 plus years of experience in protecting your rights and making certain that you are compensated for unfair labor practices. Your initial case evaluation is free. You owe it to yourself to contact us today.