As you may already know, the state of Florida subscribes to the philosophy of at-will employment, meaning that your employer in Fort Lauderdale can fire you without having to provide you with a reason. This seemingly provides your employer with all of the power in your relationship (although you also benefit from the tenets of at-will employment in that you can leave your job whenever you want). Yet there are certain exceptions to at-will employment that afford you additional protection from being fired for no good reason.
One of these is if an implied contract exists between you and your employer. You may have not negotiated an actual employment contract when you were hired, yet that does not necessarily mean that your relationship with your employer is not contractual. If your employer implies (in its policies) that your employment status will be safe provided you meet a certain performance standard, then you may argue that you have an implied contract (and thus can only be fired if you fail to meet that performance standard).
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, other scenarios in which an implied contract may exist can include:
- A supervisor’s statement that your employment is secure for a stated period of time
- Policies that state that only certain termination procedures are followed
- Your employer establishing a pattern of only firing employees for cause
You should know that if you are basing your argument of having an implied contract with your employer on the company’s policies, the presence of language in those policies indicating that they do not constitute a contractual agreement or that the company reserves the right to modify policy at its discretion may be enough to overcome your claim.