Has your employment been terminated? Do you think it was a wrongful termination? Knowing the employment law is vital to understand your legal rights. Florida is one of a number of states where individuals work at-will. This means that an employer can fire someone at anytime, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Seeking the advice of a Florida employment attorney can be beneficial in getting a valid claim initiated as each step of a case has specific timelines in which actions must be accomplished.
Florida has no law dedicated to wrongful termination, but there are state and federal labor laws that do protect employees from a wrongful dismissal based on certain criteria and circumstances. But laws can be changed, modified, or added at any time by the government and the Florida judicial system. A knowledgeable and experienced wrongful termination lawyer can explain all of your legal rights and what is needed to present your case for a favorable resolution.
FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT LAWS
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibit discrimination based on an employee’s race, color, age, religion, sex, and national origin.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s disability or against someone who is believed to have a disability.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 has been amended overtime and today includes prohibited discrimination against an employee based on marital status, citizenship status, and pregnancy.
The FLSA guarantees employees certain workplace rights that employers cannot violate. Two examples of employees’ rights are: the ability to assemble to form a union and to be paid an overtime rate for hourly employees working more than 40 per week. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against or dismiss employees for asserting their rights as allowed by law or statue.
FLORIDA EMPLOYMENT LAWS
In addition to discriminatory classes prohibited by Federal laws, Florida law makes it illegal to discriminate or dismiss someone based on having AIDS/HIV or sickle cell trait.
Florida law enforces all Federal law and prohibits discriminatory employment actions if an employer has at least 15 employees. In Florida, an employee must be at least 40 for an allegation of age discrimination and there must be at least 20 individuals employed. An employer only has to have four employees for a wrongful termination based on citizenship status.
Employees with employment contracts may not be at-will employees. If the contract specified in writing that they will not be fired during a certain period of time and then were fired during this timeframe, it may be a breach of contract claim.
Florida allows terminated employees to file a lawsuit for fraud, emotional distress, injuries and violation of public and federal policies. These types of cases are called Tort and become personal injury cases.
ADDITIONAL LABOR LAWS
Both Federal and Florida employment law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against personnel who exercise their rights to be absent from the workplace due to mandatory active duty military leave, jury duty, and to care for serous medical situations involving themselves or family members, as defined by the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993.
Anyone who decides to file a claim for wrongful termination must file with a government agency before pursuing a personal lawsuit. On a Federal level, a claim can be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in Florida, it would be the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
If you believe that you were wrongfully dismissed; today would be the best time to talk with a wrongful termination lawyer.