If you lost your job in a way that seems capricious, arbitrary or unfair, you may be wondering if you have a wrongful termination case. In reality, unless you work for a municipality, you are in a union, or you have an employment contract, your employment is more than likely "at will." This means your employer can fire you at any time and for any reason-or for no reason.
For the majority of people, the days, weeks and months spent at a job pass rather uneventfully with duties being performed and paychecks collected. While this day-to-day routine can certainly become mundane, there is nevertheless a certain comfort that can be derived from expecting no surprises and becoming increasingly skilled at your job.
In a previous post, we discussed how the majority of employees across the U.S. are presumed to be at-will, meaning their employers are permitted to terminate their services for any legally permissible reason -- or no reason whatsoever.
State and federal laws, including Florida's Whistleblower Protection Act and the federal False Claims Act, offer protections to employees who blow the whistle on supervisors and managers who willingly engage in illegal or unethical activity. However, to be afforded full protection under the law, an employee must go through the proper channels when reporting a violation.
Here in Florida, we are only on the precipice of introducing medical marijuana to a rather limited degree, meaning it's highly unlikely that we will encounter any significant legal controversy relating to things like employment anytime soon.
While the following story did not happen here in Miami, or even in the state of Florida, it still brings up the important topic of wrongful termination, and how this area can be fraught with complications.
Snoop Dogg’s former bodyguards initiated lawsuits against him on a recent Friday. In their complaint, the three bodyguards say that they were forced to complete their job duties under poor working conditions and that they were wrongfully terminated. The employment law claim also says that the bodyguards were underpaid and underworked.
An ex-utility company employee has been awarded compensatory and punitive damages in a wrongful termination case. Among the causes of action in his case, the man cited retaliation. He says that he was terminated from his job after he complained that his employer was unfairly targeting underprivileged people with unnecessary fees. This case occurred in another state. However, state and federal courts in Florida see a large number of wrongful termination cases every year.
Three years after he was fired from his job, a former hotel office manager has been awarded over $500,000 in damages in a discrimination lawsuit. The man claimed in his suit that he was the victim of wrongful termination and discrimination because he was HIV-positive. Although one does not hear of it in the news very frequently, discrimination relating to HIV is still common in Florida and other states. This man's case, however, has a positive ending, as he succeeded in obtaining justice under the law.
A single mom was recently fired from her Wells Fargo bank manager job after security personnel at her bank discovered she was carrying a firearm. The 37-year-old Florida woman claims that she did not know it was inappropriate to bring a concealed weapon with her to work. She is now seeking justice through an employment law case for wrongful termination.