A â€śwrongful terminationâ€ť occurs when an employer has fired or laid off an employee in violation of a legal right of the employee. While an employee who is terminated may believe the termination was â€śunfairâ€ť that is usually not enough to support a wrongful termination claim. The employee must show that the termination was â€śwrongfulâ€ť meaning one or more legal rights were violated. An employer can fire, suspend or fail to promote an employee for any reason or no reason or even a false reason, so long as it’s not an illegal reason. That is the bedrock of the employment at will doctrine. Florida like many other states is an employment at will state. However, there are exceptions to the employment at will doctrine and an employee who believes he has been terminated or laid off illegally should consult an attorney to examine his rights.
Dean has advised hundreds of employees and employers over the years in termination matters. For example, if an employee has an employment contract, that contract and not the employment at will doctrine will govern the employeesâ€™ rights. The employee may also be protected if he has recently complained about an unlawful practice or participated in an investigation. And there are other areas where the employee may have protections. It is important to know your rights and consult with an attorney promptly so that you do not waive any rights by waiting too long to complain.