How to Spot if You’ve Been Wrongfully Terminated
Wrongful termination does not mean simply being terminated unfairly, for a nonsensical reason or for no reason at all. It means being terminated in violation of a recognized legal right, whether created by law or through a private contract. Unfortunately, this means that if your employer fires you out of personal animosity or to open up a position for a friend or relative, while it may be unfair, it is lawful. However, numerous grounds for termination are not legally acceptable, and you should consider them when you are fired unexpectedly.
There are several situations in which a person may have recourse for wrongful termination under state or federal law. These include terminations that violate your employment contract or that occurred for discriminatory reasons or as retaliation for engaging in legally protected activity, such as:
- Reporting discrimination
- Reporting safety violations
- Reporting illegal or fraudulent conduct
- Cooperating with investigations
- Seeking workers’ compensation
- Engaging in union activity or other concerted activity
- Taking unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
Of course, employers almost never admit they are firing you for an impermissible reason. Often they concoct disciplinary or performance issues to build a case for dismissal. If your employer suddenly began singling you out for conduct that had previously been tolerated or making unsupported allegations of misconduct prior to firing you, it may have been mere pretext to conceal a legally impermissible motive. In that case, it may be time to consult a Florida wrongful termination lawyer to learn your options.