Florida Is an Employment At-Will State

Understanding your rights in a wrongful termination case in the West Palm Beach area

Florida is an at-will employment state. This means that, in most cases, you can leave your job or your employer can fire you at any time for no reason. However, there are exceptions to this rule, which can give rise to a wrongful termination claim. Our founding attorney at Pfeffer & Associates has represented Florida workers for almost 30 years. Our legal team can review the facts surrounding your termination and candidly advise you on your rights and options.

What at-will means to Florida workers

The majority of Florida residents work as at-will employees. Under these terms, you are often left with very few options if your employer lays you off. Unless specifically addressed in your contract, you may even be fired with no notice and with no severance pay. Unfortunately, your commitment to your employer, your high quality of work and your honesty and professionalism all has little bearing on whether your termination was lawful.

Exceptions to employment at-will in St. Lucie County

Florida laws tend to favor the employers over employees’ rights. The at-will rules governing employers exemplifies this fact. But, although your employer does not need to have a reason for letting you go, your employer must still abide by the laws regarding:

  • Public policy
  • Employment contract
  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Whistle blowing

Employers’ defenses in an at-will state

To prevail in a wrongful termination claim, you must prove your employer violated your rights and the conditions of your employment. Your employer is not required to demonstrate cause, but may do so as a defense. In fact, your employer may use the common tactic of constructing a cause for termination in anticipation of firing you. This may involve placing letters of reprimand in your file for minor transgressions, singling you out for policy violations or making false accusations against you.

Your employee handbook is not a contract. This document may provide guidelines as to employee expectations and offenses that may result in termination, but this does not automatically counter your at-will status. However, your employer may rely on the employee handbook to prove that you had notice of your duties and rights and that you violated company policies.

Contact our Palm Beach County firm to find out more about Florida’s at-will employment rules

Get the help you need if you were wrongfully terminated from your job. Call Pfeffer & Associates at 561-745-8011 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We accept employment cases on a contingency fee basis, and our lawyer returns calls after hours.

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