When you suffer a workplace injury, you suddenly have a lot on your mind. You have to figure out how to pay for your medical expenses, as well as dealing with the financial consequences of being unable to work for a while. It can also take a heavy emotional toll on your loved ones who must care for you. The last thing you need in this situation is for your boss to inform you that they are terminating your employment because of your accident. If this happens to you, you will probably wonder if your boss’s actions are legal, and what your options are.
Luckily, there are both Florida state laws and federal laws that protect workers in situations like these. These laws prevent employers from engaging in discriminatory action against their employees, including wrongful termination.
In Florida, the majority of employment contracts are at-will. This means that an employer can terminate an employee for any legal reason. However, if an employer tries to use an illegal reason to terminate an employee, that employee has the option of bringing a lawsuit for wrongful termination against their employer.
The employee can also report the employer to the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the state agency that investigates instances of wrongful termination.
These laws prohibit employers from firing employees based on characteristics such as sex, race, religion and disability. In other words, if your boss’s decision to fire you is justified by your disabled status after your injury, or because you sought workers’ compensation benefits, then you stand a good chance of winning a wrongful termination lawsuit against them.
Contacting an attorney as soon as possible after you learn that your boss is firing you is essential. The more time your attorney has to gather evidence, the more likely it will be that they will be able to present a solid case for why your termination was a violation of both state and federal law.