Florida is an “at-will” state, meaning that both the employee and the employer are working of their own volition. Both parties have the right to terminate the employer-employee relationship without warning or reason, provided the reason is not illegal. Contrary to what people might assume, “at-will” does not allow employers to fire employees if there is proof that the cause of termination is based on discrimination, retaliation, or breach of contract.
If you or a loved one was wrongfully terminated from your place of employment in Orange City, Florida, you may have grounds to pursue compensation to recover your lost wages and any relevant damages you incurred since being fired. An Orange City wrongful termination lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns can help build a case against your former employer and represent you throughout the litigation process. Contact us for a consultation to discuss your options in Volusia County.
Floridian and Federal Laws Protect Workers from Wrongful Termination
As mentioned, employers cannot fire employees for illegal reasons, which are defined in both state and federal laws. The following laws protect employees from wrongful termination on the state and federal levels:
- Florida Statutes § 760.10(1)(a): This statute prevents employees from being wrongfully terminated due to discrimination. Anyone who falls under a protected class (e.g., race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.) shall not be discharged on that basis or the employer will face penalties.
- Florida Statutes § 448.102: This statute protects employees who report sexual harassment, discrimination, or other unlawful activity at the workplace. Employers cannot retaliate against whistleblowers by firing them, per the Florida Whistleblower Act.
- Florida Statutes § 48.031: This statute protects employees who have been subpoenaed to testify in court as a witness. Employers cannot terminate the employee’s position to avoid testification or as retaliation against the employee, as they must fulfill the legal action.
- Florida Statutes § 440.105(2)(a): This statute protects injured employees who filed workers’ compensation claims. Employers who carry workers’ compensation insurance cannot terminate an employee’s position to avoid paying out damages if they are eligible to do so.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): This federal act protects employees who need to take time to handle personal affairs, whether because of bereavement, disability, chronic illness, pregnancy, or newborn caretaking obligations. The FMLA was created to give employees up to 12 unpaid weeks off from work with the guarantee that they may return to their position after that period ends.
Beyond these statutes, tenets of commercial law can also protect employees from wrongful termination. For example, if your employer breached the terms of your employment contract (e.g., refused to pay out wages for work hours) and terminated your position to avoid conflict, you might have grounds to challenge the termination.
Our legal team can review your case and research whether legislature exists on the state or federal level that may support your arguments.
To consult with an experienced wrongful termination lawyer serving Orange City, call 855-780-9986
You May Qualify to Recover Lost Wages and Other Damages in Your Case
What kind of damages can you get in a wrongful termination case in Orange City, Florida? For many people, their concern is receiving compensation for wages they lost, which can exist as:
- Current and future loss of wages: These are total lost wages since you were fired from your place of employment. For these wages, we would calculate what you would have earned based on previous annual weekly earnings.
- Back wages: If you were owed wages at the time of your wrongful termination, we may calculate these wages based on your working rates per hour at the time of your employment. In some cases, penalties may be added to back wages to punish employers for breaching contractual terms.
- Lower wages: If you are now struggling to find employment that pays equal to or more than the position you were discharged from, you may demand compensation for the difference in income. This can also apply to cases where employees were blacklisted from their industries, preventing them from earning the salary they’re entitled to have based on their career history.
However, beyond wages exist several other forms of damages you might claim in your wrongful termination case, such as:
- Emotional distress: If your employment termination caused you to go into a deep depression, suffer from panic attacks, or have trouble sleeping due to insomnia episodes triggered by stress, you may demand compensation for your emotional injuries.
- Workers’ compensation: If you were terminated because you filed for workers’ compensation and were denied benefits to cover medical expenses and lost wages, you may list these damages in your case to recover those costs.
- Attorney’s fees: We may add the costs of our services in your demand letter to offset those expenses from you to the defendant. This serves as a way to hold the employer accountable for wrongfully terminating you, thus forcing you to take legal action against them through your own finances.
Orange City Wrongful Termination Lawyer Near Me 855-780-9986
Be Mindful of How Long You Have to File Your Case—Don’t Miss the Deadline
Employees who have been wrongfully terminated can opt to file a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, the filing window period for these types of charges is short, so you do not have much time to consider taking legal action. Per the EEOC’s website, you generally have 180 days from the date of the discriminatory action to file a charge, with a potential extension of up to 300 days if the state has laws that explicitly prohibit the discriminatory action.
However, filing windows on the state level can vary and be even shorter than what federal agencies demand. For example, the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) states employees who were terminated for whistleblowing have up to 60 days after the prohibited personnel action to file an inquiry. Because varying deadlines exist, it is better to act sooner than later. Should you decide to work with our team, we will confirm your case’s filing deadline and take legal steps to legitimize your case.
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How an Orange City Wrongful Termination Lawyer Can Help You Build a Case
If you decide to work with our legal team, we offer to:
- Investigate the cause of your termination and how it took place
- Collect evidence that supports your claims, which may involve collecting witness testimony, video footage, and vocational rehabilitation expert analysis
- Represent you in communications and make statements about your case when necessary
- Fill out legal paperwork on your behalf and submit them within their legal deadlines
- Provide legal counsel on decisions, such as whether to accept a settlement offer
- Prepare your case for trial if necessary
- Attend out-of-court meetings to potentially negotiate a settlement deal at any point in the litigation process
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Call Bogin, Munns & Munns Today to Schedule a Consultation with Our Team
At Bogin, Munns & Munns, our legal team works hard to help clients wrongfully terminated fight for their financial recovery and lost wages. If you or a loved one in Orange City, Florida were fired from your place of employment due to an unlawful reason, such as discrimination or retaliation, our legal team wants to represent you and advocate for your right to hold your former employer accountable.
Call our law firm today to speak with a member of our team to schedule a consultation. We’ll review your case and determine what legal options you have to pursue compensation. Should you decide to work with us, we can assign an Orange City wrongful termination lawyer to your case and begin building it right away. Call now to get started.