Getting terminated from a job is very stressful. Not only do you have financial concerns but your pride suffers as well. It hurts to be told, “this just isn’t working out”.
While Florida is an at-will state, and you can be fired at any time, there are several reasons employers can’t fire you. Knowing these reasons will help you understand whether you have a case of wrongful termination. If you do, it’s important that you meet with an employment attorney right away because there is a limited window in which you can file.
Know Your Rights
If you were fired for any of the following reasons you may have a wrongful termination suit. You cannot be fired or discriminated against for being:
- Pregnant (or having a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth)
- On active or reserve military duty
- Of a particular race, gender (including transgendered), ethnicity, or religion
- Over 40 years old
If you are part of a whistleblowing investigation involving your employer, have refused to take a lie detector test, or have an employment contract that has been violated, you should contact an employment attorney to advise you of your rights.
Keep Your Cool and Carry On
Just because your employer may have acted unprofessionally, there is no reason for you to do so as well. Until you speak to an attorney, it is best not to say anything at all. Don’t tell coworkers of your plans or defame your employer in any way. You don’t want an employer to cite misconduct or unprofessionalism as the reason for your termination.
While you’re working through a wrongful termination scenario, update your resume and look for a new job. Don’t rely on a suit getting you your old job back.
Document Your Case
If any of the reasons above fit your situation begin documenting your experiences. Ideally, you will have already compiled some of the emails or conversations that occurred at your place of employment before your termination since it is unlikely you will have direct, easy access to this information once you’ve been fired.
Documentation can take the form of emails, recorded conversations, texts, transcripts of conversations, letters, documents, written recollection of events, voicemail messages, etc. Compile this information as quickly as possible. Record those involved in each conversation and the date to the best of your recollection.
Seek the Help of an Employment Attorney
A protected class is not the only actionable cause in a wrongful termination suit. If your employer acted unfairly, you may have a claim on a breach of good faith. An employment attorney can help you make sense of your situation and decide whether you have the basis for a claim.
Since wrongful termination must be proved by the employee, it’s important to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. An attorney will review your documentation and provide the counsel you need to mount an effective fight against your former employer.
If you feel you’ve been wrongfully terminated by your employer, or your employment agreement was violated, contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today to schedule your free consultation.
Please Note: At the time this article was written, the information contained within it was current based on the prevailing law at the time. Laws and precedents are subject to change, so this information may not be up to date. Always speak with a law firm regarding any legal situation to get the most current information available.