Wrongful termination of employees has serious legal repercussions. Florida is an “at-will” state, meaning you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. However, there are many factors that determine whether an employee falls under the employment at-will doctrine. You may be protected if you had a contract guaranteeing your rate of pay and length of your job. If you feel that you were treated differently or harassed based on your age, race, gender, national origin, religion or your disability your rights may have been violated.
Federal law prohibits employers from firing employees based on race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age or disability. For most types of discrimination, the law apply to employers with 15 or more employees.
Florida law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, marital status, AIDS/HIV, or sickle cell trait. In Florida, employers must comply with these laws if they have at least 15 employees.
These laws also make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for asserting your rights. For example, if you complain to your company’s HR department that you believe you were passed over for promotion because of your age, your employer may not discipline or fire you for your complaint. Likewise, your employer cannot fire you for participating in an investigation of a discrimination complaint (no matter who made the complaint), testifying in court, or making other efforts to stop discriminatory practices.
Worker’s Comp. Retaliation
Many states prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for exercising their rights under workers' compensation laws. In Florida, employers may not fire or threaten to fire employees for making legitimate workers' compensation claims.
In Florida, employees are protected by the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks off, unpaid, every year for a serious health condition, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, to care for a new child, or to handle certain practical matters arising out of a family member’s military service. Employees can take up to 26 weeks off in a single year to care for a family member who is seriously injured while serving in the military. Employees who take FMLA leave must be reinstated to the same position once their leave is over
Your complaints of discrimination should not result in the loss of your job. The team at Thompson Legal Center will help you in your fight against wrongful termination in the workplace. We will determine the best course of action while defending your rights. As each situation is unique, all individuals are strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel to determine the nature and severity of their personal situation, which is why we offer a free consultation. Contact Thompson Legal Center at 813.769.3900. Your employer has a lawyer – you should too!