Can A Florida Employer Fire Their Employee For Protesting?

Jul 4, 2018

Understanding Employee Rights in Florida

When it comes to protesting, employees in Florida have certain rights and protections that should be upheld by their employers. It is essential for both employees and employers to understand the legal boundaries surrounding protests in the workplace.

First Amendment Protections

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution grants individuals the freedom of speech and expression. While this right typically applies to government actions, it can have implications in private employment as well, depending on the circumstances.

In general, private employers have the right to restrict an employee's speech or expression while on the job. However, there are instances where employees are protected from retaliation for engaging in certain types of speech, including peaceful protests or expressing political beliefs.

Protected Activities under Florida Law

Florida law provides additional protections to employees who engage in specific protected activities, including protests. The Florida Whistleblower's Act, for example, makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who report violations of law, abuse of authority, or gross mismanagement.

Additionally, employees in Florida may be protected if they engage in lawful off-duty conduct that does not interfere with their job performance, known as "Lawful Activities" protection. This can include participating in political protests or expressing opinions outside of work hours.

Exceptions and Employer Rights

While certain activities may be protected, there are exceptions and limitations to the rights of employees in Florida. If an employee's actions disrupt the workplace, cause harm to the employer's reputation, or interfere with the normal business operations, an employer may have grounds to take action against the employee.

Additionally, if an employee's actions violate company policies or employment agreements, an employer may also have the right to terminate the employee, even if the activities in question would otherwise be protected.

Consulting an Employment Attorney

It is important for both employers and employees to seek legal advice from an experienced employment attorney if they find themselves in a situation involving protests or potential termination. An attorney can analyze the specific details of the case and provide guidance on their legal rights and options.


While employees in Florida have certain rights and protections when it comes to protesting, it is crucial to understand the limitations and exceptions that may apply. Employers must carefully consider the legal implications before taking any action against employees engaging in protected activities. By staying informed and seeking legal advice when needed, both employers and employees can navigate these potentially contentious situations while respecting their legal rights and responsibilities.

Dale Erickson
Employers in Florida must respect employees' rights to protest. 💪🏼✊🏼 Stand up for your rights!
Oct 12, 2023