Wrongful Termination in Florida
Florida, along with most of the United States, is a state that implements “employment atwill.” This means that your employment can be terminated at any time for any reason or no reason by your employer so long as you are not fired for an unlawful reason. Additionally, the employee can quit at any time for any reason or no reason. Florida’s “at-will” employment rules often discourage clients from seeking out compensation for their wrongful termination. They assume there is nothing that can be done. However, there is a list of situations that would constitute wrongful termination in Florida.
Florida’s Wrongful Termination Claims
1) Discriminatory Actions – These are terminations, demotions or refusals to hire based on race, gender, age, pregnancy, national origin or ethnicity, marital status, color or assumed ethnicity, disability or some other specific status protected by law.
2) Whistleblowing or Reporting Retaliation – These are negative employment actions due to the employee or job candidate reporting in discrimination or engaging in other protected action.
3) Refusing to Participate – Sometimes employers terminate employees based on their refusal to participate in sexual advances, harassment, discrimination or other illegal activities.
4) Family & Medical Leave – It is illegal to terminate someone who is on leave which is protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act. This includes maternity leave.
5) Overtime Wages – It is illegal for employers terminate employees because they owe them wages or because an employee has challenged the employers failure to pay minimum wages. It is also illegal for employers to force employees to work off the clock.
6) Workers Compensation – You cannot be fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
When to File a Wrongful Termination Claim
For each of the above types of wrongful termination there are different statutes of limitation in Florida. The time you have to file your claim depends on your claim’s classification. While you will likely need time to process your filing, it is important that you consult an experienced attorney quickly to help you with your claim.
The laws surrounding wrongful termination can be confusing or left up to interpretation. It is very difficult to file a wrongful termination claim without an experienced, skillful attorney by your side.