Wrongful Termination: What To Know About At-Will Employment in Florida

Mar 2, 2019

Introduction

Welcome to Baytowne Reporting, your trusted source for comprehensive court reporting services in the legal field. In this article, we will delve into the topic of wrongful termination in "at-will" employment in Florida. Understanding your rights as an employee is crucial, and we aim to provide you with valuable information to navigate this complex area of law.

What is At-Will Employment?

At-will employment is a default employment relationship in Florida and many other states, where the employer or the employee can terminate the employment contract without providing a reason, as long as it does not violate any laws or employment agreements. As straightforward as it may sound, there are several exceptions and limitations that protect employees from wrongful termination.

Understanding Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination refers to the illegal or unjust firing of an employee. While at-will employment allows employers to terminate employees without cause, certain reasons for termination are considered unlawful. It is essential to be aware of the following circumstances that may constitute wrongful termination:

Discrimination

Under state and federal laws, employers are prohibited from terminating an employee based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age. If you believe that you were fired due to one of these protected characteristics, you may have a viable claim for wrongful termination.

Retaliation

Employers are forbidden from retaliating against employees who exercise their legal rights, such as filing a complaint about workplace discrimination or reporting illegal activities. If you were fired as a direct result of reporting a violation or engaging in protected activities, you may have a case for wrongful termination.

Breach of Contract

If you have an employment contract that specifies the terms and conditions of your employment, including grounds for termination, your employer must adhere to those terms. If your employer terminates you in violation of the contract, it may be considered wrongful termination.

Violation of Public Policy

Termination that goes against public policy is another form of wrongful termination. For instance, if an employer fires an employee for refusing to engage in illegal activities, reporting regulatory violations, or exercising their legal rights, it may be deemed wrongful termination.

Filing a Wrongful Termination Claim in Florida

If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, it is crucial to follow the proper legal procedures. Here are the key steps involved in filing a wrongful termination claim in Florida:

Gather Evidence

Before proceeding, collect any evidence that supports your claim, such as employment contracts, performance evaluations, emails, and witness testimonies. This evidence will strengthen your case and help establish the facts surrounding your dismissal.

Consult with an Employment Attorney

Seeking legal advice is essential in understanding your rights, evaluating the strength of your case, and determining the best course of action. An experienced employment attorney can guide you through the process and represent your interests effectively.

File a Complaint

Depending on the type of wrongful termination claim, you may need to file a complaint with either a federal agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), or a state agency, such as the Florida Commission on Human Rights (FCHR). Your attorney will assist you in completing the necessary paperwork and meeting filing deadlines.

Pursue Mediation or Litigation

After filing a complaint, the next steps involve pursuing mediation or litigation to resolve the dispute. Mediation offers an opportunity for both parties to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, while litigation involves taking the case to court. Your attorney will advocate for your rights throughout this process.

Choose Baytowne Reporting for Your Legal Needs

At Baytowne Reporting, we understand the importance of protecting your rights in matters of wrongful termination. With our team of experienced court reporters, we can offer comprehensive support in legal proceedings, including depositions, hearings, and arbitrations. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with your court reporting needs.

Conclusion

Wrongful termination within the context of at-will employment is a serious matter that requires careful consideration. By familiarizing yourself with the circumstances that may constitute wrongful termination and taking appropriate legal steps, you can protect your rights as an employee. Remember to consult with an employment attorney to guide you throughout the process. Baytowne Reporting is your trusted partner in the legal industry, providing reliable and professional court reporting services. Reach out to us for all your court reporting needs.

Eric Aubrey
Great article! ­čÖî Really informative and helpful in understanding employee rights in Florida. ­čĹŹ
Oct 13, 2023