Experienced Wrongful Termination Lawyers in Florida
At Feldman Williams, PLLC, our Florida wrongful termination attorneys aggressively represent employees for a broad spectrum of claims under the umbrella term of wrongful termination. We depend on powerful state and federal laws that protect employees from discrimination, retaliation, harassment — and being fired illegally.
Whether a termination is actionable at law depends upon the underlying facts and reasons for the termination. If you have been fired, our employment law attorneys can first investigate the facts to determine whether a cause of action exists. If you were truly wrongfully terminated, we are here to help you take legal action. Our Florida wrongful termination lawyers can help you explore your legal options. Contact our law offices to obtain a free case assessment by one of our attorneys.
Tips from Our Florida Wrongful Termination Lawyers/
It is important to understand the potential causes and what options you have after you get fired.
What Should I Do If I Was Wrongfully Terminated in Florida?/
If you believe you were fired illegally, the best thing to do is take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer. At Feldman Williams, our attorneys can often quickly determine whether you may have a valid wrongful termination case and give you an idea of the approximate value of the case.
What Can Cause an Employer to Wrongfully Terminate Someone? /
There are many reasons, including prejudice/bias and greed. Some employers are woefully ignorant of the law, while others simply believe they can get away with wrongful termination. Many employers do succeed with breaking employment laws, especially when workers are not informed about their workplace rights.
If you were unlawfully fired, our Florida wrongful termination lawyers can help you explore your legal options.
Contact our law offices to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
COMPENSATION FOR WRONGFUL TERMINATION
Once our wrongful termination attorneys in Florida are able to examine the factors that led to your termination, we can determine what damages you are entitled to receive. Generally speaking, compensation for wrongful termination can include the following:
If your employer is also guilty of wage and hour violations, you should be able to collect the back wages that are owed to you. Florida law allows you to collect penalties in addition to your earned wages, effectively doubling your potential legal award.
Damages for wrongful termination often include loss of the income you depend upon to meet daily expenses. Lost wages are calculated from the date of termination until the present and can include lost benefits such as health insurance or stock options.
If your case goes to trial and you prevail, you can be awarded coverage of your attorney’s fees. Attorneys’ fees are typically awarded whenever an employer is determined to be guilty of violating the law at the employee’s expense.
A company that unlawfully terminates you may be ordered to compensate you for wages you will miss in the future. You can receive compensation for reduced wages if you are unable to find a job that pays as well as the one you lost.
Although rare, some wrongful termination cases will include punitive damages. These are meant to punish the employer for particularly egregious acts and to compensate the employee for emotional distress suffered because of the experience.
In some cases, a fired worker must relocate in order to obtain affordable housing or accept a new position. If this applies to you, termination-related moving expenses can be included in your compensation award.
WHAT IS WRONGFUL TERMINATION?/
Federal law protects employees from discrimination based upon race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age (over 40), disability, or gender. (Sexual harassment falls under the umbrella of gender and is legally considered to be a form of discrimination.) If you are in a protected class and are terminated for this reason, or discrimination is behind the excuse given for your firing, this constitutes wrongful termination.
Florida and the Federal Civil Rights Act also make it unlawful to retaliate or terminate an employee for filing a claim of discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace. Many employees recover damages under a whistleblower claim. This may occur if you report, object to, or refuse to participate in discriminatory conduct, retaliation, or harassment and then are terminated or demoted because of this. You are also protected as a whistleblower if you report illegal wage violations or infractions of federal Occupational Safety and Health laws.
Employees also suffer unlawful termination because of a disability or health condition. For example, your boss may decide your announced pregnancy is inconvenient and find an excuse to let you go. Or, your employer may fail to provide you with a job after you exercise your right to paternity leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.
Were You Illegally Fired?/
UNLAWFUL TERMINATION IN FLORIDA/
Like many other U.S. states, Florida’s employment laws follow an “at-will” rule. This means that unless you have a written employment contract that says otherwise, your boss is allowed to let you go without cause. At the same time, however, Florida employers with 15 or more workers are bound by federal and state laws that prohibit unlawful termination under protected circumstances.
In addition to the above-mentioned discrimination laws, Florida makes it illegal to discriminate based upon HIV/AIDS status and other health conditions. Also, in Florida, you cannot be fired because you make a legitimate workers’ compensation claim or take leave to participate in jury duty or military service.
Collect Evidence of Wrongful Termination/
An employee who feels he or she is in danger of wrongful termination should begin to collect evidence of events leading up to the firing. This might include text, email and/or voicemail messages, annual review paperwork, witness contact information, employee handbook, and a written timeline of events as they occur.
Statistics about Unlawful Terminations/
If you experience wrongful termination, you are certainly not alone. The EEOC compiles statistics for lawsuits filed for discrimination and retaliation, many of which include wrongful termination as a cause of legal action. These statistics show that In 2017 alone, there were 6,858 total charges of wrongful termination in the state of Florida, and over 83,500 nationwide.
If you were fired or experienced retaliation upon filing a claim of sexual harassment or discrimination, your employer violated both the Federal Civil Rights Act and Florida law. Additionally, if you refused to participate in discriminatory conduct, retaliation or to ignore reported harassment and were then retaliated against by being fired or demoted, you can recover damages under the whistleblower theory.
At times, wrongful termination cases can be resolved through negotiation or mediation, but it takes a skilled lawyer to get to the underlying facts. If negotiation fails to achieve the result you deserve, our lawyers are always prepared to represent you in court.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Could You Have Been Legally Let Go?/
Legitimate Reasons for Termination /
An employer in an “at will” employment state (such as Florida) has many legitimate reasons to dismiss an employee without notice. These include: unexcused absence or tardiness, insubordination, missed deadlines, poor quality of work, negative attitude, and more. As long as the business is not violating laws protecting employees from discrimination or retaliation, an employer is, essentially, free to replace you at will.
Employee Contracts /
If a written (or in some cases, verbal) employment contract exists between a business and hired worker, both can be legally held to the terms of the contract. So, if an employer has guaranteed you a job for a designated period, sudden dismissal may be a breach of contract and wrongful termination.
Employer Policies /
If an employer has an employee handbook or written human resources manual, the described policies should be applied to all employees equally. If an employee is treated differently regarding discipline or dismissal, the employer’s handbook or typical HR procedures can provide evidence of wrongful termination.
If two employees who essentially perform the same duties are treated differently at work, this differential treatment may be in violation of employment laws. An example is when employees over the age of 40 are “laid off” while younger workers are kept on; this may be discrimination-based differential treatment and, thus, wrongful termination.
WORK WITH EXPERIENCED WRONGFUL TERMINATION LAWYERS IN FLORIDA/
If you are the victim of wrongful termination, don’t hesitate to take steps to protect your rights. Qualified legal help can make the difference to your case outcome and your future. At Feldman Williams, our success record includes six-figure results for clients who were fired illegally. We have law offices in Tampa, Jacksonville and Atlanta.
At times, wrongful termination cases can be resolved through negotiation or mediation, but it takes a skilled lawyer to get to the underlying facts. Many, if not most, employment law cases are settled without going to trial. If negotiation fails to achieve the result you deserve, our lawyers are always fully prepared to represent you in court.
We get justice for workers.
Wrongful Termination – Client Review
Mr Feldman is a great lawyer. He has the perfect blend of wisdom, compassion, and honesty. He also has the uncanny ability to cut through the nonsense and B.S. and tell it like it is. If you are wrong he will tell you, and if you are right he will fight for you. When he fights, he likes to win. I really appreciate all his hard work and the fact that he made sure I was happy with the outcome. Knowledge skill and tenacity is a very hard combination to beat! Thank You Sir! ~ Dave Oldenburg