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Help for employees: 3 different types of wrongful termination

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2018 | Wrongful Termination

Employment law attorneys understand that wrongful termination is a confusing concept. Some employer actions that do not seem wrongful are, in fact, illegal, while other behaviors that seem horrible are actually not against the law. If something felt amiss about your dismissal from your job, then you should speak to an attorney about whether you have a wrongful termination case on your hands.

Many Florida workers have at-will employment. That means the employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason, and the employee can quit at any time without any reason or warning. However, some terminations are not so cut and dried.

1. Termination under contractual obligations

While many employees are categorized as at-will, you may have signed a contract specifying you will work for the company for an allotted period of time. If your boss lets you go before the contract is up, then you may have the basis for a wrongful termination claim. In certain cases, a verbal employment contract can be treated like a written one.

2. Termination after failure to perform an illegal act

In this case, an “illegal act” is not necessarily something devious, like causing physical harm to another. Instead, for example, an employer may ask an employee to work three shifts simultaneously. The worker can refuse to work that long because it violates labor laws. In the event the boss fires that employee, then the worker may be able to assert a wrongful termination claim. 

3. Termination after taking protected time off

Not all jobs come with paid vacation time, but there are times when an employer has to allow an employee to leave. For example, employers may be required to give their employees enough time to go out and vote on an election day or give them leave to perform jury duty.

If an employer refuses such a request and fires an employee who voted or served on a jury, then legal action is a possibility. Some employees also have certain legal protections with regard to family medical leave, military service or other types of leave.

Get your questions answered

Every situation is different. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, it is important to get your questions answered by a lawyer.