Tampa Bay Employment Lawyers: Firing Without Cause
Employees are fired every day. Some are let go for legitimate reasons while others are terminated improperly under state and federal laws. The place of business has become a litigation battleground between former employees and employers. At Feldman Morgado, P.A., we will aggressively and zealously represent our clients on a broad spectrum of claims under the umbrella term of "wrongful termination." Whether a termination is actionable at law depends upon the underlying facts and reasons for the termination in most cases. We will investigate the facts and determine whether a cause of action exists. Protect your interests and defend your rights. Consult Feldman Morgado, P.A.
In Today's Challenging Economic times, Termination Of An Employee Must Be Handled Properly And Is Often Challenged
Florida and the Federal Civil Rights Acts make it unlawful to retaliate or terminate an employee for reporting or filing a claim of discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. Additionally, an employee may have the right to recover damages under a whistleblower theory against the employer if that employee objects to or refuses to participate in discriminatory conduct, retaliation or ignores reported harassment and is himself or herself then terminated or demoted.
If a labor conflict in the place of employment arises, in many instances, a severance agreement or separation agreement is the best source of resolution and the least costly. Contact us to discuss the labor and employment dispute and how we can create a negotiated separation and severance agreement to avoid litigation. At times, even wrongful termination cases can be resolved through negotiation or mediation, but it takes a skilled lawyer to get to the underlying facts and to create an enforceable severance and separation agreement.
Misguided Retaliatory Terminations Subject the Business to Lawsuits for Wrongful Termination
All employees in Florida are generally employees "at will", absent an employment agreement. An Employer may terminate an employee for any reason or no reason or cause at all. An employee's disagreement over his or her firing "without cause" does not mean that he or she has a valid legal claim of wrongful termination. However, if the reason for termination is a pretext for underlying illegal reasons, the action can result in a protracted lawsuit with hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and attorney's fees at stake. Contact an attorney at the Florida law firm of Feldman Morgado, P.A., including its Tampa Bay location. With your reputation and money at stake, you need a skilled team of attorneys on your side.
Florida Court of Appeals Holds that an Employee Who Voluntarily Quits Her Job May Still Receive Unemployment Compensation Benefits
Many employees think that they are not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits if they quit their job. However, that is simply not true. While it is a commonly held belief that an employee who quits his job is not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits, a recent decision of the 1st District Court of Appeals in Florida demonstrates that this is not true in all cases. In essence, the Court held that even if an employee voluntarily quits his job, the employee does not necessarily lose his entitlement to unemployment compensation benefits.
In that case, Reedy v. Florida Unemployment Appeals Commission, Case No. 1D08-6330 (1st DCA 2009), the employee voluntarily left her job because she was facing significant stress at work that gave her anxiety and exacerbated her medical problems. On appeal, the Court of Appeals stated the general rule that an employee who voluntarily quits a job is not entitled to unemployment compensation benefits unless it is shown that she left for good cause attributable to the employer. Then the Court found that the employee's job had become exceedingly stressful and that she had repeatedly asked for assistance, but simply did not get the assistance that she needed. She began to suffer headaches and chest pains, which her physician diagnosed were related to the anxiety and stress that she suffered at work. Her job performance began to slip significantly. Then, after a short vacation, the employee informed her employer that she would not return to work. She then applied for unemployment compensation benefits.
The Court held that under the circumstances of the case, the employee had shown good cause because those circumstances were such that any reasonable person would be compelled to have given up her job when faced with what the employee was faced. The Court found that the employee voluntarily left her job for good cause attributable to the employer and reinstated the unemployment compensation benefits.
This case demonstrates that there are circumstances where an employee will still receive unemployment compensation benefits even if he quits his job. Similar circumstances could include (i) where the employer cuts the employee's hours to such an extent that the employee resigns in order to seek a job that offers more hours, (ii) where the employee walks off the job because of a hostile work environment, and (iii) where the employer transfers the employee to a location that is much further away from her home.
Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced lawyer to review any alleged wrongful termination case, or to review whether you will be subject to liability from a former employee. Contact one of our offices in Tampa, Ocala/Gainesville, Miami, Naples, Jacksonville, or Fort Lauderdale, Florida.