Seven things you cannot be fired for at work

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What circumstances prohibit your boss from firing you?

Losing your job can be a nightmare. What happens when your employer has wrongly retaliated against you or fired you for unlawful reasons? It’s important to get the facts about employee rights and take a closer look at the evidence that led to your dismissal.


What are some things you cannot be fired for at work?


1. You cannot be discriminated against because you are a member of a protected class. Federal law considers race, color, religion, national origin, age (40+), sex, pregnancy and disability to be protected classes when it comes to workplace discrimination. That means, for example, you cannot be fired because you are African-American, a woman, a Muslim, pregnant or disabled.


2. You cannot be fired for objecting to discrimination against yourself or others.


3. You cannot be fired because you file or attempt to file or have a claim under the workers’ compensation act for an on-the-job injury. Some employers fire an employee because they have—or are about to—file a workers’ compensation claim. That is illegal retaliation.


4. Some employees stand up against illegal practices committed by their employer. Under the Florida Private Whistleblower’s Act (FPWA), an employee working for a private company cannot be fired for objecting to such illegal activity, or threatening to report it.


5. You cannot be fired because you took authorized medical leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), qualified employees cannot be fired for taking up to 12 weeks off work to take care of a serious medical condition or other family and medical leave reasons, such as the birth of a child or to care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition.


6. An employer cannot fire you because you are working collectively to improve your rights. This includes working with your co-workers to improve conditions or forming a union.


7. You cannot be fired for complaining about not getting overtime, for which you are qualified. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, qualified employees must be paid overtime. If you and your employer fit those definitions and you are not getting paid overtime, when you object to that, your employer cannot retaliate against you.


This list is not exhaustive, and you may have other employee rights under the law. If you feel like your employer has illegally fired you, don’t wait to seek the advice of a qualified attorney. Some remedies must be sought within a specific time period, and you don’t want to wait until it is too late.


Get to the bottom of your case while the statute of limitations permits.


In need of an attorney to handle your employee rights case? The employment law experts at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A., are advocates for justice in the workplace. Give us a call today.

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