In Florida, if you were denied a promotion, demoted, or fired from your job because of your race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status, you may have a valid claim for wrongful termination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Title XLIV of Florida Statutes Chapter 760, Section 760.10. An employer may not fire an employee due to discrimination, for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), filing a valid workers’ compensation claim, whistleblowing, or breach of contract.
However, proving wrongful termination in Florida can be difficult. If you believe you were fired unlawfully from your job, seek the advice of an experienced Florida wrongful termination lawyer. The lawyers at Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates, P.A. are dedicated to assisting their clients with fighting for their rights and benefits and are here to assist you if you have questions about pursuing your wrongful termination case. Below are a few examples of potential wrongful termination.
At the state and federal levels, firing an employee belonging to a protected class is illegal. Wrongful termination is the same as illegal termination. If your employer has 15 or more employees in Florida and five or more employees in some counties, you are protected. For example, if only employees of a certain race, religion, or gender were fired for a specific violation while others were only warned, this would be considered discrimination and wrongful termination.
Unfortunately, not all employers are family-friendly, and some retaliate against employees who have taken FMLA leave. Employees end up getting fired when they’ve taken time off to have a baby or care for an immediate family member suffering from a serious medical condition. FMLA protects Floridians from this type of wrongful termination. As soon as possible, after being fired for exercising your right to FMLA, you should consult with an experienced wrongful termination attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Employers are prohibited from using workers’ compensation laws against their employees. Attempting to intimidate, threaten, or fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim is against the law. If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim due to a workplace injury, you should not have to worry about losing your job. Florida Labor Code 440.205 states: “Coercion of employees. No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law.” If you believe your employer has terminated you and violated this state law, a workers’ compensation attorney will fight for your rights where labor law violations have occurred.
If an employee refuses to commit an illegal act, an employer cannot fire them. Were you fired after you complained about unlawful behavior on the part of your employer? Or fired because you refused to participate in illegal activity? If so, you may have a case against your employer for wrongful termination in either of these situations. In Florida, employers cannot fire employees for reporting or uncovering employer violations of state and federal law under the Florida Private Whistle-Blower’s Act.
Breach of Contract
Suppose you are terminated early under the terms of your contract, and your contract stipulates that you can only be terminated for good cause. In that case, your employer may be obligated to pay you for the remaining portion of your contract term.
Should You Hire an Attorney if You Believe You Were Wrongfully Terminated?
Florida is an “at-will” state when it comes to termination, and an employer may fire the employee at any time and for any reason that is not illegal. Therefore, if you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, the best course of action is to contact an experienced local Florida wrongful termination lawyer to discuss your options and whether you have a case.
A wrongful termination attorney can also review your employer’s contracts, policies, and employee handbook to determine whether you have a claim. Before filing a wrongful termination lawsuit, your attorney can assist you in gathering evidence to support your claim and file a complaint with the appropriate agency. In addition, if necessary, your attorney can represent you in court.
Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates, P.A. – Your Advocates for Wrongful Termination
The lawyers at Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates, P.A. are dedicated to assisting their clients fight for their rights and benefits, holding employers accountable for wrongful termination. The attorneys and staff are multilingual in Spanish, Creole, and Portuguese. We have attended thousands of depositions, mediations, arbitrations, hearings, and trials. We understand the complexities of employment law and have fought both small and large employers to get justice for employees across numerous industries. We are your neighborhood attorneys. Let us help you.
If you have further questions or want to schedule your free consultation, call our wrongful termination lawyers to discuss if you have a wrongful termination case at (877) 817-4127 or complete our online form here. We serve clients throughout Florida with convenient office locations in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Fort Pierce, Miami, and Port St. Lucie.
Copyright© 2022. Lyle B. Masnikoff & Associates, P.A. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.