Can You Be Fired for No Reason in Florida?
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Can You Be Fired for No Reason in Florida?
If you have lost a job, you will likely face many financial and personal difficulties. In general, employers can dismiss workers for any reason they choose—or even no reason at all.
But there are exceptions. It is important to understand your legal rights as a worker in Florida. No employee deserves to be harassed, discriminated against, or treated wrongly.
Some cases of termination violate legal statutes and worker protection laws. In cases like these, the former employee may be able to pursue financial compensation through a civil claim.
When you have experienced wrongful termination in Florida, it is crucial to speak with a legal professional. Reach out to the accomplished tort lawyers at the nation’s largest tort law firm: Morgan and Morgan.
Victims of wrongful termination deserve to pursue justice with the help of an attorney. A knowledgeable employment law attorney can help you recover financial damages to cover the costs resulting from your wrongful termination.
Florida operates under an “at-will” approach to employment law. This means that there are few regulatory protections for workers against employers’ harmful behavior.
But can you be fired for no reason in Florida? Only under certain circumstances.
If you have questions regarding the legality of your job termination, consult with the knowledgeable legal team at Morgan & Morgan. Our compassionate attorneys will review your case and help you move forward effectively.
We offer prospective clients a no-obligation legal consultation. To schedule your free case evaluation, fill out the form on the Morgan and Morgan website.
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Understanding At-Will Employment
Most states have adopted at-will employment laws. Florida is no exception.
With this approach to employment law, business owners are permitted to fire workers without proving they have a good reason.
For instance, suppose that a business owner wants to decrease their payroll costs. Under Florida state law, this would be a valid reason for terminating a worker’s employment. And typically, business owners are not required to provide any notice to fired workers.
So can you be fired for no reason in Florida? In many instances, yes.
However, workers do have some limited protections in the Sunshine State. Wrongful termination laws are intended to legally safeguard employees against certain types of unfair firings.
Types of Wrongful Termination Protections
Workers in Florida have some protections under federal law. For instance, employees cannot be dismissed because of their inclusion in certain protected classes.
When can you be fired for no reason in Florida? You can be fired under most circumstances except the following:
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), more than 67,000 people filed wrongful termination charges in one recent year.
Anti-discrimination laws protect employees from discriminatory hiring and firing practices. These instances of wrongful termination happen when an employer discriminates against a worker for their protected characteristics. These anti-discrimination laws are federal. Therefore, they apply in Florida.
These are some of the protected characteristics for which employees cannot be fired:
- Race or color
- Sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity
- Age (40 or older)
- Genetic information or disability
- National origin
Under Florida state law, these characteristics are also protected:
- Marital status
- Sickle cell trait
- HIV/AIDS diagnosis
If your boss terminated your employment due to your membership in a protected class, you might have a valid wrongful termination claim. Speak with an attorney to explore legal strategies.
When you have been treated differently because of who you are, you have the right to pursue justice. Employees should never face discrimination or termination because of their characteristics.
The skilled worker discrimination lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have decades of experience with this type of claim. Can you be fired for no reason in Florida? Yes, but you cannot be fired for belonging to a protected class.
Breach of Contractual Obligations
In Florida, employers are not legally permitted to fire someone if that termination breaches a legal contract.
Suppose that you have an employment contract stating that you can only be fired for cause. In this case, the business owner would not be able to terminate your position for no reason. If the employer ends the contract early, they may be required to pay you for the entirety of the contract.
If you have been fired, it is critical to have a skilled employment law attorney review the terms of your contract. You might be able to recover significant financial compensation if you were wrongfully terminated in this way.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Retaliation
Employers are not allowed to fire employees because they have filed a workers’ compensation claim. When you sustain an injury on the job, you have the right to seek financial recovery through a workers’ comp claim.
Workers’ compensation insurance is intended to make up for some of the losses that employees experience because of their on-the-job injuries. This type of earned benefit should cover the following:
- A portion of lost wages and income
- Partial or total disability payments
- Impairment benefits
- Necessary and reasonable medical treatment and care
- Vocational retraining
This type of compensation does not cover the costs of non-economic damages, such as these:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Physical pain
- Loss of quality of life
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Most Florida businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance policies. When you sustain physical harm at work, you have the right to pursue these earned benefits.
If you are fired because you filed a workers’ comp claim, do not hesitate. One of the skilled legal experts at the firm of Morgan and Morgan will help you pursue the financial compensation that you are rightfully owed.
Objections to Labor and Wage Law Violations
In some instances, workers are let go for refusing to go along with violations of workers’ protection regulations.
Suppose that your supervisor misclassified you in order to avoid providing you with overtime pay. If you object and your employer fires you, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination case. Let a knowledgeable attorney review the circumstances of your termination to help you secure a favorable outcome in your case.
Refusing to Engage in Illegal Activity
Workers who are fired because they refuse to do something illegal can file a wrongful termination claim. Employers are not permitted to make illegal actions a requirement for employment.
If you have lost your job and you believe your employer was in the wrong, do not wait. Consult a skilled legal professional to determine whether you have a valid wrongful termination case.
When you are wondering if you can be fired for no reason in Florida, contact Morgan and Morgan. We have a long track record of successfully representing the victims of unfair treatment in the workplace.
Common Damages in Wrongful Termination Suits
Workers who lose their jobs experience a wide range of financial challenges and personal difficulties. When you sue an employer for unfair firing, you may hope to recover financial compensation for the losses you experienced as the result of the termination.
These financial payments in a civil legal claim are called “damages.” Like most tort legal cases, wrongful termination claims typically involve two categories of damages. These are called “special” and “general” damages.
Understanding Special Damages
This type of financial compensation repays the wrongful termination victim for the direct monetary costs they suffered. The most obvious monetary loss that results from termination is foregone pay.
When you are fired, you will miss out on the opportunity to earn income. A knowledgeable tort lawyer can help you calculate the value of your lost pay and seek special damages in that amount.
Beyond your standard paycheck, you may also be able to recover the following special damages:
- Expected overtime payments
- Health insurance benefits
- Dental insurance benefits
- Paid time off
It can be difficult to know how much these losses amount to. That is why you should speak with a seasoned legal professional following a wrongful termination.
Understanding General Damages
Some of the most challenging outcomes following a wrongful termination are not monetary. Being treated unfairly at work can result in significant psychological and personal harm.
Although these financial damages are not always awarded in wrongful termination claims, some victims can recover them. Examples of general damages in wrongful termination cases include the following:
- Emotional distress
- Depression and anxiety
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased quality of life
These compensatory payments are usually only awarded if the employer acted in a particularly harmful way. Claimants may need to rely on the testimony of expert witnesses to prove that they suffered psychological harm.
How Expensive Is It to Hire an Employment Law Attorney?
When you have been fired, you will have many financial obligations and responsibilities. It is difficult to make ends meet without a reliable income.
For this reason, many victims of unscrupulous employers worry about the costs of securing legal representation. Fortunately, reputable employment law attorneys are paid through contingency fees.
With this payment method, clients agree to a specific portion of the monetary recovery from their wrongful termination case. When the claim is successfully negotiated or taken to court, the agreed-upon percentage of compensation is used to cover attorneys’ fees.
This fee structure allows all victims to pursue justice, regardless of their financial status. Contingency fees also ensure that your legal representative is working as hard as possible for you.
At the firm of Morgan & Morgan, our skilled attorneys do not get paid unless you do. Avoid hiring a law firm that demands payment before securing a favorable outcome in your case.
What Are Punitive Damages?
Most successful wrongful termination claims only result in special damages for the claimant. But in rare instances, courts may award “punitive” damages.
These financial payments are not meant to compensate for any losses the victim experienced. Instead, they are intended to punish the perpetrator of unfair business practices.
Speak with a seasoned attorney at Morgan and Morgan about the damages that you can hope to recover.
Contact a Florida Employment Law Attorney
You should never put up with unfair treatment at work. In the state of Florida, workers have certain protections against wrongful termination.
Although employers can usually hire and fire as they see fit, this is not always the case. If you were fired as the result of a contract violation, discriminatory practice, or another illegal action, contact our firm.
The compassionate legal team at Morgan & Morgan will gladly arrange a free initial meeting to discuss the facts of your case. Complete our contact form online to schedule your free case evaluation now.