You were fired from your job and you suspect the motive behind the dismissal was your age, health, or maybe even a personal dislike by your superior(s). Do you have a wrongful termination claim?
In general, your employer can terminate you “at will” since Florida is an “at will” work state. Basically, this means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason, or even no reason at all. Your boss could wake up one day, come into work, and decide to fire you, and that would be perfectly legal. It is not fair, but it is the law in Florida.
Exceptions to Florida’s “At Will” Standard
If you have a job where you are working under a valid employment contract which specifies a definite term of employment or identifies the grounds for termination, you may be able to pursue restitution through a wrongful termination claim. In addition, the “at will” employment standard can be challenged in certain circumstances.
For example, some Florida courts have recognized a wrongful termination claim when the employer’s termination violated state or federal law. Some of the following factual circumstances have resulted in Florida courts finding in favor of the terminated employee.
- Termination based solely on race or national origin
- Termination is retaliation of an employee filing a sexual harassment complaint.
- Termination based solely on an employee’s gender sex
- Termination based solely on an employee becoming pregnant
- Termination based solely on an employee revealing they have AIDS, HIV, or a sickle-cell trait.
- Termination based on an employee filing a worker’s compensation claim.
How to Hold Your Employer Accountable
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated from your job, contact the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). This state organization enforces state laws prohibiting workplace discrimination and unlawful termination. On the federal level, you can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to determine whether your employer violated any federal discrimination laws.
You should also contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale wrongful termination attorney to help determine whether you could pursue a private cause of action for financial restitution against your employer.
Financial restitution can include compensation for your lost wages, lost benefits, injunctive relief, and damages for pain and suffering such as emotional trauma, mental anguish, embarrassment, and so forth. You can also seek punitive damages (also known as punishment damages) and reimbursement for attorney fees and costs.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Termination Lawyer for Legal Advice
As mentioned above, Florida is generally considered an employer-friendly state when it comes to the issue of terminating an employee. Nevertheless, if you believe that you were wrongfully terminated, you have rights and should exercise those rights. To fully understand and enforce those employment rights, you need to contact an experienced and knowledgeable employee advocate like Mark J. Berkowitz. Mr. Berkowitz has been practicing labor and employment law for almost twenty years. He applies his substantive legal knowledge as an experienced practitioner for employees in both the public sector and private section. Contact his office today at (954) 527-0570.