In the perfect world, employers and employees would work harmoniously together for their shared interests. In reality, however, there is often conflict between the two, which often leaves the worker with little choice: comply or find another job. One of the reasons Florida employers wield so much power is because most Florida workers are considered at-will, meaning they can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. But that power to terminate is not without limits.
To be clear, if a worker is hired under a contractual agreement, either individually or as a member of a group, such as a union, he or she is not considered an at-will worker. For the vast majority of other workers, a termination may be considered wrongful, and thus legally actionable, if the basis for the firing triggers some sort of other important, established legal right. For example, Legal commentators explain that if it can be shown a worker was let go because of discrimination against their race, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability or status in some other recognized protected class, that may be illegal.
Other protections are afforded workers who complain about illegal activities they may encounter at work. A worker can’t be fired for reporting a safety issue or for reporting discrimination directed towards another worker. Nor can a worker be fired in retaliation or asserting a legal right to do something, such as file a worker’s compensation claim, file a wage claim or join a union. Of course, the employer is unlikely to admit to the real reason a worker was fired, so many wrongful termination claims become hard-fought battles requiring thorough investigation.
Unlawful discrimination or a wrongful discharge can be devastating to a worker. Our Boca Raton, Florida, Wrongful Termination Legal Assistance page may provide you with information that you need to understand your rights.