Wrongful termination is one of the most common types of employment lawsuits. And while there are always varying factors from case to case, most fall under one of the following categories.
Discrimination or Harassment
It is against federal law for employers to discriminate against their employees based on protected characteristics like:
Most states have additional laws on the books that prevent employers from discriminating based on other characteristics, including:
If you were fired based on any of the aforementioned characteristics, you should speak with an employment attorney immediately.
Employers cannot fire employees in retaliation for things like:
There are several federal statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Water Pollution Control Act, and the Energy Reorganization Act, that prevent workers from being fired for reporting violations. Many states have additional laws in place that further protect employees from being fired as a form of retaliation.
Breach of Contract
If you have a contract or employment agreement in place, your employer cannot break the contract while firing you. Contracts sometimes have limits on an employer’s right to fire an employee, and violation of these terms is grounds for a lawsuit. Some states also recognize “implied contracts,” which are agreements suggested by the employer’s actions or by the job offer letter. So, even if you and your employer didn’t technically sign a contract, you may still be able to file a lawsuit for violation of your employment agreement.
Ignoring Protected Leave
Federal and state laws protect workers from being fired while on family or medical leave. Any employer with more than 50 employees cannot fire employees for taking 12 weeks of leave per year for certain family and/or medical reasons. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, it’s also illegal to fire an employee for taking a disability-related leave.
Failure to Provide Proper Accommodations
The Americans with Disabilities Act also requires that employers provide accommodations for a worker’s disability as long as it doesn’t create a hardship for the business. As such, your employer can’t fire you for having a disability and requesting specific accommodations. If you’re forced to quit because your employer doesn’t provide them, this may be grounds for filing a lawsuit.
If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, you should be to contact a Florida employment lawyer immediately to discuss the specifics of what happened. It’s important to gather as much evidence as you can regarding your termination, including creating a timeline of the events leading up to your termination, so that you have a detailed account of exactly what happened. If possible, get a copy of your personnel file from your employer. And if you had an employment contract in place, make sure you show it to your lawyer as well.
At the Law Office of Keith M. Stern, we’re well versed in wrongful termination cases and hold employers accountable for their wrongdoings so that you see the justice you deserve, both emotionally and financially. Contact us today at (305) 901-1379 to schedule a consultation.