Florida Wrongful Termination
Unlawful or wrongful termination of employees has serious legal consequences. Employees have strong protections against employers who violate the law. Although Florida is an “at-will” state, your age, race, gender, or injury should not result in the loss of your job. If you believe you are a victim of unlawful termination, the Florida wrongful termination lawyers at Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. are here to help.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED WRONGFUL TERMINATION IN FLORIDA?
Employees have multiple protections under federal and state laws. The actions of employers across a wide range of employment areas may qualify for wrongful termination.
Examples of Wrongful Termination
- Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claim Filing
According to Florida Statute §440.205, “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.” What this basically means is that it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against or terminate an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Hostile Work Environments Tolerating Sexual Harassment
Wrongful termination lawyers in Florida fight for victims of sexual harassment. If it is proven that the wrongful discharge was caused by a sexually hostile work environment, you may be eligible to receive compensatory damages, reinstatement to your job with all pay and benefits, and back pay from the date of termination to the settlement or verdict, among other types of damages. Sexual harassment is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
- Age Discrimination
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects people 40 years of age and older from age-based discrimination. Wrongful termination laws protect people from being fired just because of their age. This includes any stage of the employment process, including hiring, training, promotions, layoffs, and firing. Also, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), an amendment to the ADEA, says that an employer typically may not reduce or deny benefits for older employees.
- Race Discrimination
Racism should never be tolerated. Florida Wrongful termination lawyers will perform a thorough investigation of all the facts in the case. Experience matters across all areas of employment law. A creative and aggressive approach to workplace discrimination lawsuits, together with our experience in the presentation and proof of discriminatory treatment on the job, can make a significant difference in the ultimate result of your claim. For a consultation about your legal options in a workplace race discrimination case, call Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A.
- Wage and Hour Disputes
Were you fighting for missing wages or fair pay and got fired? The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) covers comprehensive issues surrounding wage and hour disputes. These can include unpaid wages, unpaid commission, unpaid salary, and other forms of wage theft. Have you heard your employer say: “I do not owe you that money” or “You owe me money, so I’m not paying you?” Are you a bartender or server and have been short-changed by your employer? Are you in sales and did not receive your proper commission? Both of these are examples of wage disputes. A wrongful termination lawyer in Florida may be able to help.
- Unpaid Overtime
Whether you didn’t receive your wages from working overtime or received “straight-pay” after putting time in after your regular 40 hours, these are both covered under employment law. Employers will often have excuses such as: “You didn’t work that hours”; “You worked unscheduled hours”; or even, “I didn’t approve overtime for you.” Our lawyers have a deep appreciation for the complex and difficult nature of unpaid overtime, and we seek to begin a constructive dialog between employers and their employees in seeking a fair resolution.
According to Florida’s Private Whistle-blower’s Act, it is unlawful for employers to terminate employees for uncovering, objecting to, or reporting violations of state and federal law. Additional detailed examples of what is covered under the Whistle-blower’s Act include participation in an investigation or legal action against their employer, calling a whistleblower hotline, or filing a written complaint with an appropriate agency on their own or as part of an ongoing investigation. Victims of adverse actions, including but not limited to termination, have the right to recover damages for reporting illegal activity or refusing to participate in discriminatory conduct.
- Family and Medical Leave
Florida wrongful termination lawyers fight for many individuals that have been fired while on leave from work. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects you or a loved one from that wrongful discharge. The FMLA “entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave.” FMLA typically covers childbirth and the initial care of a newborn. This included paternity leave for fathers as well. Medical leave can include coverage for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
- Pregnancy Discrimination
In addition to FMLA, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protects pregnant employees from discrimination and unlawful firing due to pregnancy. It prohibits employers from taking these illegal actions “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” If a female employee becomes disabled during their pregnancy, they may also be covered under the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The ADA is one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation.
- Religious Discrimination
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says, “religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs.” This applies to all aspects of employment, including wages, promotions, health insurance, etc. Did you know that if a spouse or another close relation is a particular religion, you cannot discriminate against an employee or candidate based on that? It can also include such areas as headdresses, certain types of hats, or other attire that are worn due to your religious beliefs. Dedicated time off work can also be required for religious holidays. Before filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, make sure to contact a wrongful termination lawyer in Florida first. They can best assist you with drafting that charge and initiating the administrative process.
FLORIDA’S EMPLOYMENT “AT-WILL” DOCTRINE
Under Florida’s “employment “at-will” doctrine, an employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all. This is legal as long as the actions taken against the employee are not the product of workplace discrimination or in violation of state, local and/or federal law. However, unlawful or wrongful termination of employees has serious legal consequences. It takes a legal professional that has deep expertise in wrongful discharge to maneuver the complexities of employment law and the justice system.
Importantly, not all workers fall under the employment-at-will doctrine. Some individuals have contracts guaranteeing job security. In Florida, these contracts are typically written agreements guaranteeing a specific term of employment. An employer may be liable for breach of contract if it violates the terms of a written agreement.
HOW FLORIDA WRONGFUL TERMINATION LAWYERS CAN HELP YOU
Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. can help you determine the best course of action and defend your rights on the job against powerful corporations, government employers, or rogue companies. We understand what you are going through affects more than just you. It affects your family too. Wrongful termination in Florida can cause emotional trauma, unnecessary financial stress, and major disruptions to you and your family’s daily needs. It can even have long-lasting effects on your career.
Legal options regarding wrongful termination:
Due to the significant impacts of wrongful termination on an employee and their family, filing a lawsuit may be the best legal option. Employees do have the right to sue their employees for violations of employment law. Each case is different, and it is important to know that more than one legal option may be available to you.
There are several avenues that individuals may seek to pursue, ranging from legal action in court to negotiate a severance package. You may be entitled to lost wages, back wages, punitive damages, among other types of compensation. The decision will depend on your situation and the details of your case. Wrongful termination lawyers can guide you in making the right decision for you and your family.
YOU’RE NOT ALONE
No matter how skilled you are at your job or the recognition you receive, anyone can become a victim of illegal workplace actions. Clients often come to us after being fired, laid off, or downsized based on unlawful or discriminatory reasons. You don’t have to do this alone. We’ve helped thousands of others just like you.
At your free initial consultation, we will evaluate your case and analyze the events that led to the adverse employment action. Our priority is to help you understand your rights as an employee and get the justice you deserve. We look at the timing of the termination, demotion, or reduction in pay after the workplace event. If you have any physical documentation such as printouts of emails, texts, social media posts or pictures, or even written evaluations, make sure you keep these and provide them to us.
There is a statute of limitations on wrongful termination in Florida, so it is important to fight for your rights before it is too late. In general, an employee only has 180 days to file a claim from the date of termination. If there were violations of an individual’s civil rights under federal or state law, an employee has 300 days. Understand that it is important to not postpone a claim so that documentary evidence can be preserved and cases can be as strong as possible.
TAKE ACTION TODAY! CONTACT A WRONGFUL TERMINATION ATTORNEY TODAY!
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated from your job due to any of the above circumstances, we want to speak with you. From injustices such as sexual harassment, race discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and much more, employee rights attorneys in Florida are here to help. When selecting a wrongful termination lawyer in Florida, you want someone who will represent you professionally and fight aggressively for you against the well-funded employer. Take immediate action with an employment law attorney that has industry respect and a proven track record of success.
Schedule a free, confidential consultation today. Offices are available in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, West Palm Beach, Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville for your convenience.