You put great effort into your job, but your employer fired you. Although Florida is an at-will state, which means employers can terminate employees for no reason, there are illegal actions employers often take that favor employees in a lawsuit to recover damages after they are let go. If wrongful termination happens to you, walk away with dignity and call us.
Both Florida and the federal government protect you from termination because an employer is retaliating or discriminating against you or is punishing you for blowing the whistle on fraudulent activity at work. Often, we can find ancillary charges against your employer. For instance, if you were fired for reporting failure to pay overtime, you may be able to recover compensation on both counts. Let a Tampa wrongful termination lawyer at Feldman Legal Group evaluate your firing and determine what you may be owed. Call now to get our experienced employment attorneys on your side.
Florida and At-Will Employment
Florida employees who do not have an employment contract are at-will, which means they can leave at any time for a better job—and conversely—employers can dismiss them at any time and for no reason. Neither party would prevail in a lawsuit for wrongful termination. However, the terms of an employment agreement override at-will status. Contact a seasoned Tampa wrongful termination attorney to learn if you were unlawfully fired and can pursue a lawsuit against an employer.
Grounds for a Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
Under federal and state law, firing employees for the wrong reasons, which violates their rights, is the foundation of a wrongful termination suit. But the laws are complex. Under Florida Statutes 760.10(1)(a), employees cannot be terminated because of their race, color, sex, religion, pregnancy, age, disability, national origin, or marital status.
However, according to Fla. Stat. 760.10(8), it is not unlawful to refuse to consider an employee’s protected class if it is a qualification necessary for the job. For instance, the office manager at a fashion house cannot lawfully be fired for being over 40. But a lingerie model can be chosen based on age and physical attributes.
Other unlawful employer actions include:
- Termination for political affiliation
- Termination because of jury duty
- Termination for leave involving military service
- Termination for taking time off under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or Florida’s Domestic Violence Leave
- Termination as retaliation for being a whistleblower by reporting discrimination, fraud, harassment, or wage and hour violations
Employees can be whistleblowers even if the unlawful act does not involve them. Employees who observe an employer discriminate against a protected class they are not members of can report it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If fired for blowing the whistle, they can file suit. Our dedicated Tampa wrongful termination attorney, Mitchell Feldman, represents employees before regulatory boards and in lawsuits if he suspects their dismissal was unlawful.
Gather Evidence After a Wrongful Firing
Fired employees are often shocked, especially if they are good at their jobs but suspect retaliation or discrimination. Take the time to document your employer’s actions leading up to the dismissal and why you believe it was unlawful. Save any emails, photos, communications, and any other evidence that hints at your firing. Then, consult an unlawful termination lawyer at our firm to learn how we can help.
A Tampa Wrongful Termination Attorney Fights for You
Although at-will employment works both ways—an employer can fire you without an employment agreement, and you can leave for a better opportunity—sometimes firing is against the law.
You could be compensated if you are let go for various reasons codified under federal and Florida state law. Your employer may not share an illegal reason for your firing, but if you suspect it, you need an attorney who will fight against this injustice and aggressively seek compensation for you. Call a Tampa wrongful termination lawyer at Feldman Legal Group today to discuss your potential case.