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Can you face wrongful termination for at-will employment?

Florida offers at-will employment. This means employers can fire employees at-will without any pertinent reasoning. However, it also means employees can leave a place of work for any reason immediately without providing any explanation. 

This situation may leave you wondering if wrongful termination runs rampant. After all, if employers do not need a reason to fire employees, then theoretically nothing stops them from discriminating against workers of a certain gender, race, country of origin, religion, age, medical background or sexual orientation. Fortunately, you still have protections under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Discrimination

Under at-will employment, a boss can fire you even if you have not done anything wrong. However, you cannot lose your job based on protected criteria, such as having a disability or marital status.

Breach of contract

Some employers will have workers sign a contract stating that the employee will work for the company for a set amount of time. These contracts often contain additional provisions about how the employer will treat the worker. If your boss fires you for a reason not stated within your contract, then you will have clear grounds to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. For the best outcome of a lawsuit, there needs to be a physical copy of the agreement both parties have signed. An oral agreement will not stand up in a Florida court. 

Retaliation

Employees have a right to bring issues to an employer's attention. For example, you can point out an unsafe working condition or how your employer has not paid you the proper amount for overtime. It is illegal for bosses to fire workers who bring up such matters. In the eyes of the law, this is retaliation, and it is absolutely grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Additionally, employers cannot retaliate against workers who refuse to engage in any illegal activity on their behalf. 

 

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