When Does Wrongful Termination Occur?
When most employees are fired, they believe the termination was unreasonable or unfair. However, due to the legal concept of at-will employment in Florida and most other states, employers generally have the right to fire employees at any time and for any reason. Still, there are exceptions to the law and at times, employers can be held liable for wrongful termination. Below, our Palm Beach Gardens wrongful termination attorney explains when you can take action against your employer.
Your Employer Discriminated Against You
It is against the law for employers to discriminate against employees or potential employment candidates based on their protected class. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act outlines protected classes as religion, race, sex, ethnicity, disability, age, and other personal characteristics. You may have a discrimination claim against your employer for any of the following:
- You were fired after asking for an accommodation for a disability
- Your employer fired you, and several other employees, during a pregnancy
- Your employer made comments about a protected class when terminating you.
If you feel that your employer has discriminated against you, it is important to speak to an employment attorney who can advise on your case.
Your Employer Violated an Employment Contract
One of the exceptions to the at-will employment law is when there is an employment contract in place. Employment contracts typically stipulate an end date of employment and/or certain terms under which the worker can be terminated. It is important to know that in certain circumstances, employee handbooks are sometimes considered an employment contract. Employers can be held liable for violating their own policies.
The Termination was Based on Retaliation
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees in certain circumstances. For example, if you took leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), your employer cannot retaliate against you once you return. Retaliation does not only include wrongful termination but also reducing your hours or placing you in another, lower-paying position.
Your employer also cannot retaliate against you for filing a worker’s compensation claim. If you were injured on the job, you likely have the right to file a worker’s compensation claim, as most employers in Florida are required to carry this type of insurance. Your employer cannot fire you for filing a worker’s compensation claim and they cannot retaliate against you during any leave you take or when you return to work.
Another time when employers commonly retaliate against employers is after an employee has filed a whistleblower claim. For example, if your employer engaged in fraud against the government and you filed a claim, your employer cannot retaliate against you for those actions.
Call Our Wrongful Termination Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens Today
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, it is critical to seek legal advice. At Sconzo Law Office, our Palm Beach Gardens wrongful termination attorney can provide it and help you obtain the damages that are justly yours. Call us now at 561-279-6114 or contact us online to request a free consultation and to get more information.
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