In a legal context, wrongful termination means firing an employee for an illegal reason. Although Florida is an at-will employment state, it is still illegal to terminate an employee for certain protected reasons, including reporting harassment and discrimination.
If you have been terminated after reporting harassment and employment discrimination, contact Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC as soon as possible. Our Tampa Bay employment lawyers are passionate advocates for victims of wrongful termination.
We have more than 100 years of experience and a history of success representing clients in all matters of employment law. Our attorneys are compassionate and understanding – all our legal decisions are informed by your specific circumstances, and we make certain you are aware of your legal options before undergoing any formal proceedings. We take a hands-on approach, devising comprehensive strategies tailored specifically to your needs and aggressively litigating for maximum compensation.
Wrongful termination cases can be complex, and evidence of discrimination and retaliation is often circumstantial. Our employment lawyers will consider the facts and seek information that tends to prove that your termination was unlawful. We will evaluate any available employer documentation, look for differential treatment, and any evidence that you were unlawfully terminated for reporting harassment and discrimination.
It is illegal under both state and federal laws to fire an employee for reporting harassment and discrimination. Protection under state law is provided in the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992. Claims of retaliation may be filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
Florida is an at-will state, which means that an employer can hire, fire, promote, demote or discipline employees for almost any reason they see fit, but it doesn’t mean you are without any sort of protection in the workplace. There are plenty of laws to make sure that you are not facing horrible working conditions and are still receiving fair pay for your work.
Employers often wield power over employees who need a paycheck to protect themselves and their families. If your employer has fired you without cause, speak with one of the wrongful termination attorneys at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC. We believe employers should treat their workers with integrity and fairness. Surprisingly, termination without cause is not illegal in Florida, but you are still eligible for protection under other state and national laws.
Employers are prohibited under state and federal law from firing, demoting, or harassing employees from exercising their employment rights. Employees are protected from retaliation by employers from actions that include making a state or federal claim of discrimination.
To prove wrongful termination for reporting harassment and discrimination, the employee must show that:
In many cases, demonstrating the connection between the employee’s reporting of harassment and discrimination and his or her being fired is the most difficult part of proving wrongful termination. Under the law, this connection can be established by either direct or circumstantial evidence.
Employers defend claims of retaliation for reporting harassment and discrimination by presenting valid reasons for terminating the employee. The more valid reasons there are for termination, the more difficult it is to prove retaliation and wrongful termination.
Listed below are some of the many legal protections that contain provisions to protect you against wrongful termination:
Aside from discrimination and retaliation, there are other situations in which termination of an employee may not be legal.
Express or implied contract: If an employee can show that an express or implied contract existed with the company, which would prevent the employer from firing the employee without cause, the termination may be deemed a wrongful one: for example if the employer made promises of job security or other representations at or subsequent to hiring, or if such promises were set forth in the company manual.
If your company has a policy that discriminates against multiple employees who belong to a class of workers who are protected by law, let us know. We can make a class action claim on behalf of all of those who were victims of the employer’s misconduct, especially in the case of a large company where discriminatory actions are systemic and affect many people. There is strength in numbers, and class action suits are often more efficient and better able to generate publicity and public support than individual actions.
Though you do have protections because Florida is an at-will state, you must consider your next steps carefully. If your employer terminates you without cause:
If you believe your employer wrongfully fired you, explain what happened to an attorney. At-will states may make it easier to treat employees unfairly, but a lawyer who knows the laws inside and out can help to sort out exactly what is happening. He or she can help you to get to the bottom of a very uncomfortable situation, making everything go much more smoothly. Leave the heavy lifting to your legal team and enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your case is in the hands of the professionals.
At Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC we believe that people who want to work, need to work, and are qualified to work deserve to work. Contact us to arrange a free appointment with a skilled, experienced, and compassionate employment attorney who will be committed to your well-being and focused on your needs.
You’ve lost your job, but don’t lose hope. We have helped thousands of clients in the past, and we are here to help you. We accept cases on a contingency fee basis, which means no upfront costs, no out-of-pocket expenses for the duration of the legal process, and no legal fees to us until we win your case and you are paid the damages owed to you. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys.