Few things hit harder against a person or a family than the loss of one’s job. We invest our character and pride into our jobs in ways that are much larger than the pay we receive. Being terminated from one’ s job strikes at the very heart of our integrity. What’s more, most families only have enough in savings to live only a few weeks without work. Thus, the loss of our job brings the entire family into immediate crisis.
On the other side, we are often faced with an impersonal company that offers little comfort or explanation with its decision to terminate employment. Persons find that their investment into a company has little meaning to the company itself.
As a result, wrongful terminations damage a person or family well beyond the loss of earnings themselves. While lost earnings can be substantial, equally important are the damages caused by anxiety, embarrassment , humiliation, anger and fear for the future. We understand all of these components to an Employment Law case.
At Will Employment
Unfortunately , it is hard to prove or bring a successful claim for wrongful termination in Florida. Florida is an “at will” employment state, meaning you can be fired for any reason or for no reason at all, so long as the real reason behind your termination is not illegal. This means that a company can fire you for reasons that are illogical or unfair, or it can fire you for no reason at all.
A company, however, cannot fire you for illegal reasons. In other words, there are certain classes of employees that are protected by State and Federal Law, making it illegal to fire an employee based on age, race, national origin, disability, gender, or other classifications or protected activities. If you were working for certain state agencies , additional protections may apply.
Proving Your Case
Of course, it is rare to find an employer who admits the real reason it fired someone was one of these protected classes. More often, we find a person fired unfairly or unjustifiably and the circumstances suggest the real reason was something else. This may be based on comments that were made or how the person was treated in comparison with other employees. A company will often claim it had ” legitimate business reasons” for the termination, making it necessary to carefully uncover circumstantial evidence that these reasons are mere pretext covering up a discriminatory motive.
Beyond being able to prove your case, you will need a skilled attorney to navigate the case through the administrative and litigation process. If you are fired based on discrimination, you have a short time from your termination by which you must file an administrative complaint with the appropriate State or Federal Agency. You must exhaust this administrative process before you can proceed with a lawsuit in Court.
Although we find that some cases will resolve during the administrative investigation, many employment cases require a willingness to proceed beyond that process to a lawsuit or trial. We offer an aggressive and experienced approach to ensure your rights are protected and your case is heard. The consultation is free, and there is no fee unless we recover benefits for you.