Florida Attorney Handling Employment Law and Discrimination Claims
Florida has "at will" employment. That means that you can quit for any reason, and your employer can fire you for any legal reason. However, one reason that is not legal for your employer to fire you — or to take any job action for or against you — is discrimination based on:
- National origin
- Gender/sex or pregnancy
- Age over 40
- Disability or perceived disability
- Veteran status
If you have been discriminated against for any of these reasons, you have the right to make a claim for damages. But how do you know for sure? Contact the Law Office of William M. Julien, P.A. in Boca Raton, Florida, for a free initial consultation.
What Is a Protected Class?
A protected class is a group of people Congress recognized as vulnerable to discrimination and acted to protect in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and other federal laws.
Under those federal laws, as well as some state and local laws, you are protected from discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability status, or veteran status and, in some locations, sexual harassment.
What Should I Do If I Believe I Have Been Discriminated Against?
As soon as you become aware of the discrimination, document everything in a personal diary. If your company has a human resources department, ask them to intervene on your behalf. If that fails, contact a lawyer.
What Kind of Documentation Do I Need to Prove My Claim?
You need enough evidence to prove to a reasonable person that it is more likely than not that discrimination is the cause of your being fired, your not being promoted, or not getting hired in the first place. Write everything down, including what happened, when, where, and how often. Talk to witnesses, write down their names and addresses, and ask them if they would be willing to testify on your behalf.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
It is illegal to fire someone because of discrimination or in retaliation for being a whistleblower or exercising their legal rights. For example, you cannot be legally fired for filing a workers' comp claim or taking your rightful medical or family leave.
You may also file a wrongful termination claim if your company decides to lay you off or fire you, but instead forces you to quit so they do not have to pay unemployment compensation.
If you believe that you were fired from your job for one of these reasons, you may have the right to pursue legal action against your employer. In a wrongful termination claim, you may get your job back and/or receive compensation for back pay and emotional stress.
Because Florida and federal law is fairly complex, we recommend retaining an experienced employment law attorney as soon as you are terminated. Call the Law Office of William M. Julien, P.A. in Boca Raton, Florida, at 561-995-9990 or contact us online.
Is It True That Only Women Can Sue for Sexual Harassment?
No. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that it is illegal to sexually harass people at work regardless of their sex — and regardless of whether the harasser is the same gender as the victim.
It is also important to note that, just as supervisors are prohibited from harassing workers, supervisors also have a duty to prevent and stop harassment by coworkers and third-party players such as contractors, vendors and customers of the firm.
If the supervisors or managers knew that harassment was going on and did nothing to stop it, they are responsible.
For a free consultation and experienced legal counsel about employment law or discrimination, call the Law Office of William M. Julien, P.A. in Boca Raton, Florida, at 561-995-9990 or contact us online. We handle most cases on a contingency basis, so you owe no attorney fees unless we successfully resolve your case.