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A Quick Guide to Wrongful Termination

While getting fired from your job always feels wrong, it might not be illegal even if there is no apparent reason.  Florida is what is called an “at-will” state.  Generally, “at-will” means an employer can fire you without cause, but there are exceptions that vary by state. One important piece of legislation all states must acknowledge is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  As pertains to wrongful termination, this Act makes it illegal for an employer to fire you because of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National Origin

In addition, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits employers from discriminating (firing in this case) people over the age of 40 solely because of their age.

Exceptions to At-Will Employment in Florida

One type of exception to at-will employment is the public-policy exception.  Under the public-policy exception, an employer cannot fire someone for refusing to breach public policy.  For example, your employer cannot fire you for refusing to break the law.

Another type of exception is the implied-contract exception.  This is meant to protect any employee from being fired if there is an implied contract (not in writing) such as a verbal agreement.  In 38 of 50 states, an implied contract can be used in court during a wrongful termination lawsuit.

The third type of exception to at-will employment is the covenant-of-good-faith exception.  This exception protects people from being fired because of things like malice or false pretenses.  Only six states recognize this exception.

Unfortunately, Florida (along with Georgia, Louisiana, and Rhode Island) does not recognize ANY of the afore mentioned exceptions.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Employer for Wrongful Termination

If you believe you were wrongfully terminated and want to file suit against your former employer, you should know that there is a statute of limitations.  In general, you need to file within 180 days of the date of termination although this is not “set in stone”.  It is suggested that you collect these vital documents to support your case:

  • Your job description.
  • Your resume.
  • Any and all performance evaluations.
  • Attendance records.
  • Your contract if you have one.

These and many more are important to your case.

Filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against an employer is an extremely complex legal endeavor.  You need guidance and experience.  Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup has been protecting the people of Plantation, Florida against civil rights violations such as this for over 15 years.  Please, contact Elias Dsouza for more information.

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