It’s devastating to lose your job, especially if you believe your firing was unjustified and unfair. Wrongful termination is illegal, and those who experienced this type of treatment often feel unsure of what to do next. If you think you are a victim, it may be helpful to learn more about your rights as an employee and how you can protect yourself.
It is not always easy to identify treatment that could count as wrongful termination. Employees are often unprepared to fight for their rights because they are not certain what those rights include. Knowing more about this issue could help you understand if you have grounds for a civil suit against your employer after your termination.
Florida is an at-will employment state. This means employers do not have to have a specific reason to fire you. However, there are limits to this. It is illegal for an employer to fire someone on the basis of retaliation or discrimination. This also includes constructive dismissal, which is when the employer strongly encourages the employee to quit.
If you signed a contract with your employer, this may protect you from being fired at will. An employer is bound to the terms of the contract. Even if there is no formal contract, it may be possible to hold your employer to the terms of a verbal agreement. If your termination was wrongful, you may be able to pursue a breach of contract claim against the employer.
Discrimination or retaliation
Your employer cannot fire you for acting within your rights, such as pursuing a workers’ compensation claim or reporting illegal activity in the workplace. It is also illegal for an employer to fire you on the basis of your gender, religion, sexual orientation, age and other factors. Additionally, it is wrongful termination if you lost your job after taking protected time off, such as FMLA leave, during jury duty or when you need to go vote.
Do you have a claim?
You may have a valid claim against your employer if you experienced wrongful termination. If you suspect this happened to you, it is in your interests to seek the guidance of an experienced employment law attorney. An assessment of your case can help you understand what legal options could be available to you, including the possibility of seeking compensation through a civil claim against your employer.