A woman in Broward County is suing her former employer for wrongful termination and retaliation. Sherrice Charles alleges her employer, Florida Home-Improvement Associates Inc., violated
the Private Sector Whistleblower Act. Charles claims she objected to the company’s practice of running credit checks on customers without their consent or knowledge. Her complaint came just one day after she began working for the company.
Charles asked to be transferred to another department, only to be terminated shortly thereafter. Charles claims that the company failed to comply with Florida law by terminating her after she reported illegal conduct and refused to participate in it. A jury trial is being sought, along with damages totaling to more than $15,000. The company argues that there was no wrongful termination involved due to Florida’s at-will employment laws.
Generally speaking, claims of wrongful termination do not exist in Florida because it is an at-will employment state. This means that employers can discipline, promote, hire, fire and demote employees for any reason – or no reason at all.
That being said, the Sunshine State nonetheless falls under federal laws for wrongful termination based on any of the following:
Employment claims are often the most costly, time-consuming claims a business will face. In 2010, there were nearly 100,000 EEOC charges filed in Florida. And over the past five years, a whopping six out of ten employers have faced at least one employee lawsuit. What’s more, the EEOC secures more than $400 million dollars annually from employers.
The average out-of-court settlement in a wrongful termination settlement is close to $40,000, and nearly one-tenth of all wrongful termination or discrimination cases will settle for close to a million dollars. These figures should send a message to employers that discrimination and wrongful termination claims should be taken seriously.
If you believe that you have been the victim of wrongful termination or discrimination, it is important to seek legal counsel. A Miami employment lawyer can review your case and help you choose the legal path that is right for you. Employers who discriminate against employees or who fire their workers illegally, can – and should – be held accountable. Contact the Law Office of Keith M. Stern, P.A. today at (888) 315-8771 for a free consultation.