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‘Not my problem’ boss tells worker unable to drive in ice storm

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2014 | Wrongful Termination

Out of all 50 states, Florida is one of the ones with some of the most consistently warm weather; its nickname is even The Sunshine State. It is no surprise then that the state and its residents may not have the equipment to handle inclement weather cold enough to shut down the city.

At the end of January, a storm swept through that was severe enough for the city to declare a State of Emergency. This warning was appropriate said one resident who lost power and couldn’t start his truck. Even if he could have gotten it started, he wouldn’t have been able to get out of the driveway or past the road closed by the county. Simply put, there was no way he was going to be able to get to work.

It was simply impossible for him to get to work due to the circumstances mentioned above, and that is exactly what he told his employer. What was the response from his employer? It wasn’t the employer’s problem. The employee missed that single shift but managed to get into work the next day…where he was promptly terminated for the absence.

“Being treated like this makes you feel like it’s not worthwhile to be kind or go out of your way to help people,” he said. What kindness was he referring to? According to this employee, there were some borderline labor violations that he put up with because he wanted to help out his employer.

These extra violations included working through lunch breaks as a “nice gesture” because another employee would have had to finish his tasks. He also worked overtime hours without extra compensation and without complaint. He even purchased supplies with his own money. He was a hard working employee with no negative marks on his performance review, and he said he was generally “not the type of person to sue.”

It was the termination based on the ice-storm circumstances that were the straw that broke the camel’s back. “I believe this was wrongful termination,” he said, “and employers like this shouldn’t be allowed to treat their employees unfairly.”

Source: LawyersandSettlements.com, “Employee Appealing to Florida Labor Law in Wrongful Termination,” Jane Mundy, Feb. 15, 2014