Rockford, IL Unlawful Termination Attorneys
Understanding Wrongful Termination Laws in Florida, New York, Illinois, New Mexico & Colorado
Many states, including Florida, are what are known as at-will states; in other words, an employer can generally fire an employee at any time for any reason, including no reason at all. Because of this, there is technically no “wrongful termination” claim in Florida—but this does not mean employees cannot be fired unlawfully. For example, if an employer terminates a worker’s employment based on a protected status—such as race or sex—or in retaliation, this constitutes unlawful termination.
USA Employment Lawyers assists workers throughout South Florida and the entire state, as well as those located in Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico & New York, who have been wrongfully fired. We understand that every situation is different, which is why we offer personalized and innovative solutions tailored to each client’s unique goals. We strive to help our clients achieve swift, favorable resolutions; we are not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary.
Examples of Unlawful Termination in Florida
Although employers in Florida are free to hire, promote, demote, and fire employees at will, they may not terminate employment based on:
- Discrimination: Workers cannot be fired due to their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, marital status, pregnancy status, or any other protected class.
- Retaliation: An employer may not fire you because you filed a harassment or discrimination complaint, refused to take part in harassment, or for any other retaliatory reason.
- Whistleblower Claims: Firing an employee for filing a whistleblower claim is a form of retaliation and constitutes unlawful termination.
- Workers’ Compensation: It is illegal in Florida to fire an employee because he or she filed a workers’ compensation claim.
- Family and Medical Leave: An employer cannot terminate employment because a worker requests or takes an FMLA-related leave of absence.
- Unpaid Overtime Wages: Your employer cannot fire you if you complain about unpaid overtime wages or dispute exemption status.
Additionally, your employer may not fire you if you are subpoenaed to testify against them or if you have signed a contract explicitly stating that you can only be fired for cause. If you are laid off and you are over the age of 40, your employer must provide you with a list of the other employees who have been laid off and their ages. This can allow you to determine if age discrimination played a role in your termination.
What Evidence is Needed to Prove a Claim of Wrongful Termination?
To prove a claim of wrongful termination, the employee will typically need to provide evidence that shows that their termination was unlawful or violated their employment contract.
Here are some examples of evidence that an employee may use to support a claim of wrongful termination:
- Written Employment Contract: If the employee had a written employment contract that specified the terms and conditions of their employment, they can use this as evidence to show that their termination violated the terms of the contract.
- Performance Evaluations and Reviews: Employees can use their performance evaluations and reviews as evidence to show that they were meeting or exceeding the employer's expectations prior to their termination.
- Emails and other Correspondence: Emails, text messages, and other correspondence between the employee and their employer can be used as evidence to support a claim of wrongful termination.
- Witness Testimony: Witnesses such as colleagues, supervisors, or human resources representatives can provide testimony regarding the circumstances surrounding the termination.
- Documentation of Employer's Past Actions: If an employee can show that the employer has a history of discriminatory practices or wrongful terminations, this can be used as evidence to support a claim of wrongful termination.
It's important to note that the specific evidence required to prove a claim of wrongful termination may vary depending on the particular circumstances of the case, as well as the applicable laws in the jurisdiction where the case is being heard. It's important to consult with our experienced employment law attorney to determine what types of evidence will be most effective in your specific situation.
Speak to Our Team about Your Case
Because Florida is an at-will state, it can be very difficult to prove unlawful termination and to collect the wages and/or back pay you may be owed. It is crucial that you discuss your situation with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your legal options.