Common Reasons for Wrongful Termination Suits in Florida

Florida, like most states, is an at-will state. This means employers may terminate a worker’s employment at any time, for any reason, with or without cause, and for any reason. Many states have certain exceptions for at-will employment, but Florida is among the handful of states that do not have any exceptions—except for wrongful terminations recognized by law. 

Title VII Discrimination

The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 extended workplace protections for members of protected classes. This law applies to private and public employers with at least 15 employees. It prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of an employee’s (or candidate’s) race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. These are called protected classes

Employers may not discriminate against an employee while recruiting, hiring, promoting, disciplining, determining benefits, or terminating. If your inclusion in one of those protected classes contributed to your firing, you may well have a legitimate wrongful termination lawsuit. 

Other Protected Classes

Since 1964, a variety of federal and state laws have added protected classes for workplace protections. In addition to Title VII protected classes, it is now unlawful to discriminate against Florida employees based on their sexual identity, disability, age (for employees and candidates at least 40), citizenship status, marital status, genetic information, gender identity, HIV/AIDS status, and possession of the sickle cell trait. 

Most of these protected classes also apply to employers with at least 15 employees. Age discrimination, however, applies to companies and organizations with at least 20 employees. Citizenship status discrimination applies to places with at least four employees. 

Unlawful Retaliation

Many workers deal with possible wrongful termination claims because their former employer retaliated against them for doing (or not doing) something. For example, an employer is prohibited from terminating an employee who makes a claim of discrimination under Title VII, the ADA, or other laws protecting employees. Also, employers may not retaliate against employees who cooperate with investigations into workplace discrimination. 

Firings may ultimately be wrongful retaliation when the underlying issue has nothing to do with discrimination. For instance, employers may not retaliate against employees who make a workers’ compensation claim or take sick leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees are also free to make an unpaid wage claim without fear of retaliation. 

A Skilled Attorney Can Help Deliver Justice

In Florida, employers can fire workers for almost any reason. However, there are some important exceptions that give employees avenues for monetary compensation if they were wrongfully terminated. Each case requires a close inspection of the facts, which is why you need the help of an experienced and aggressive attorney. The Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A. looks forward to speaking with you soon about your legal needs; get in touch with us here to set up an initial consultation.