As an employment lawyer, I get inquiries from a lot of people who want to know if they can sue their employer, after they were fired unfairly. People assume that they can sue their employer for wrongful termination, if their firing was somehow unjust, however, that is true only in a very limited set of circumstances. The question of when can I sue my employer for wrongful termination, in Florida, is a complex question to answer, but the easy answer is not as often as most people think. There are a few situations in which you can sue an employer for wrongful termination, but more situations in which you cannot.
It is important to note that Florida is an “at will” employment state. Meaning, if you do not have an employment contract, which guarantees you a job, or some type of process before you can be terminated, you can be terminated for almost any reason, or no reason at all. The fact is that no matter how unfair your firing is, and no matter how many other people did the same thing and were not fired, or whatever the circumstances may be, your employer can fire you for almost any reason, or no reason at all, no matter how unfair. There are exceptions to this rule, however. Florida at Will Employment Rights When You Lose Your Job
You cannot be fired from a job based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, or nationality. Additionally, if you have filed a complaint against your employer, with a government agency, there are laws that protect you from being fired for doing so. For example, if you filed an FLSA case against your employer, for failing to pay you properly, or complained to OSHA about working conditions, you cannot be fired for filing the case or complaint. In fact, the law protects you, even if you have not filed a complaint, if you make a good faith complaint about not being paid minimum wage or overtime. If you are fired due to race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age or nationality, or for filing a legitimate complaint about your wages or safety, you, most likely, can sue your employer for wrongful termination. At will employment wrongful termination laws Florida
If you have an employment contract that guarantees you will have a job for a fixed period, or you have an employment agreement that requires a process before termination, you may be able to sue. That is if your employer fires you prior to the period of guaranteed employment, or without the process, you can sue for wrongful termination.
Sadly, most firings are unfair, or believed unfair by the person who was fired. However, in the State of Florida, there are a very limited set of circumstances under which you can sue your employer for wrongful termination. If you believe you have one of these circumstances, call an employment attorney immediately, to explore your rights, as there may be applicable time limits.