In Florida, most employees are employed at will. It means that your employer can fire you at any time without prior notice. However, it does not mean that they can fire you illegally. If the reasons for your dismissal are protected by law, then that is an unlawful termination, and you need to take action.
However, instances like absenteeism or low productivity levels are valid reasons for dismissal, and there may be nothing you can do.
What constitutes an unlawful dismissal?
Below are some reasons that may be considered unlawful if they were the basis of your termination.
- Discrimination: The law protects everyone against any form of discrimination based on age, gender, disability, among others. If you were fired because your employer found out that you were pregnant, that is a form of discrimination, and your termination is unlawful.
- Retaliation: If you reported your employer for workplace violations or for helping investigations, it is not a legal termination.
- Dismissal for requesting family or medical leave: You may be entitled to leave if you need to take time off to care for a loved one or maternal and paternal leaves. If your employer terminated you because you asked for time off for medical reasons, it is considered unlawful.
Your employer may, of course, say they terminated you for another reason.
Proving wrongful termination
When it comes to such cases, it is your word against your employer’s. Therefore, having documentation to support your claims is important. Given that your employer is likely to validate their reasons for dismissing you, it is advisable to have evidence to the contrary. You could consider presenting testimony from your colleagues or any communication between you and your employer that could support your wrongful termination.
Being well prepared before taking any steps following a wrongful termination will increase the likelihood of a positive conclusion and ensure your rights are protected.