Florida is an “at-will” state. Nonetheless, your employer cannot dismiss you based on your protected characteristics. If they do, you may file a wrongful termination claim against them and recover applicable damages.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some employers to abuse the concept of at-will employment. But when exactly can a termination be considered wrongful?
Understanding the concept of wrongful termination
A termination is considered wrongful if you are fired for illegal reasons. Of course, no employer would tell you to your face that they are firing you for an illegal reason. And this is why you need to understand what amounts to a wrongful termination and what doesn’t.
Here are two scenarios when you can have a valid wrongful termination claim against your employer:
When they fire you on discriminatory grounds
According to both state and federal laws, your employer cannot fire or deny you employment based on your race, religion, gender and nationality of origin among other protected characteristics. If you can prove that your dismissal was based on any of these protected characteristics, then you can file a wrongful termination claim against your employer.
When they dismiss you in retaliation
Your employer cannot fire you for taking part in protected activities such as:
- Protesting against discrimination at work.
- Cooperating with investigating agencies or testifying in court against your employer
- Reporting an unethical or illegal activity
If you are dismissed on any of these grounds, your employer’s actions would be deemed retaliatory, and this can form the basis for a wrongful termination claim.
As an employee, you have rights and entitlements. If your employer has ignored these rights by dismissing you on illegal grounds, you need to explore your legal options.