Although Florida employees who do not have employment contracts serve at the will of their employers and can be fired for a reason or no reason, the reason, if given, must be valid and lawful. It cannot be for discriminatory or retaliatory purposes. Likewise, you may have legal recourse if your employer doesn’t provide a specific reason, but their behavior indicates they are retaliating or discriminating.

There are many reasons why you cannot be fired, all of which violate public policy. One of them entails jury duty. If you are called to serve and your employer does not want you to, threatens to fire you while expressing displeasure, or retaliates in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, you need our diligent wrongful termination attorney’s help. A Tampa jury service wrongful termination lawyer from Feldman Legal Group is ready to stand up for your rights.

Types of Retaliatory Actions Employers Take

The most obvious retaliatory action employers can take when they are disgruntled that an employee will miss work for jury service is to fire them. They may be relying on Florida’s at-will status, but they should not get away with this unlawful action because employees are protected from discrimination and retaliation. Other acts employers may take include:

  • Demoting employees to lesser positions
  • Refusing an employee unpaid leave to serve on a jury
  • Cutting an employee’s pay unless they decline jury service
  • Docking an employee for sick or vacation days for accepting jury service

Employers do not have to give employees paid leave to serve on juries, but they cannot stop them from receiving unpaid leave to serve. Also, the court system pays jurors a daily stipend for service. Call our qualified lawyer at Feldman Legal Group for an honest assessment of a situation involving wrongful termination, discrimination, or harassment after being called to jury duty in Tampa.

How Employees Are Protected When Called to Jury Duty

Both federal and Florida laws protect employees who are called to jury duty from retaliatory actions by employers. The Jury Systems Improvement Act (JSIA) makes it illegal for employers to dismiss or harass employees slated to serve on juries, including grand juries, in federal court in Tampa.

Florida has enacted similar legislation to protect employees who receive letters to report for state or local jury service. According to Florida Statutes § 40.271, employers who punish employees called to state or local jury duty are breaking the law and can be held in contempt of court. Additionally, employees subjected to pressure after receiving a jury summons can sue employers in a civil action and receive compensatory and even punitive damages if the employer’s actions are egregious.

Damages Available in a Jury Service Wrongful Termination Case

Compensatory damages are meant to put the plaintiff back in the position they were in prior to the retaliation. This could include repayment of lost wages after an employee is fired and payment for emotional damage the employer inflicted.

Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer for outrageous behavior and dissuade them and others from repeating the behavior in the future. Mitchell Feldman and his team at Feldman Legal Group have decades of experience litigating wrongful termination claims. Our attorneys are not afraid to go up against the largest Tampa Bay employers if your rights have been violated because you have been called to jury service.

Speak With Our Tampa Jury Service Wrongful Termination Attorney

When you are called to jury service and notify your boss, you are doing your duty as a good citizen. No employer should harass you for that. Unfortunately, it happens all the time. You may be tempted to give in to your employer’s demands. Do not.

If you are being pressed to refuse jury duty or are facing retaliatory behavior for serving, your employer is breaking the law, and you may be entitled to compensation. A Tampa jury service wrongful termination lawyer at Feldman Legal Group will listen attentively to your story, and if you have a case, we will face off with your employer in court. Call now to learn more.