Our Employment Law Attorney Advises Businesses in Naples and Fort Myers
A Florida business is permitted to fire its employee at will with no notice and for no reason. Likewise, an employee can quit at any time for any reason. However, an employer is subject to some exceptions to the at-will rule, most notably firing based on the employee’s being in a protected class, in retaliation against a whistleblower or in breach of an employment contract.
Gunterfirm counsels businesses about these restrictions on employee termination and defends our clients against unwarranted wrongful termination claims. Our attorney is a Florida Bar Certified specialist in employment and labor law who draws on 18 years of experience to reach the best possible resolutions in claims of wrongful termination.
Prohibited Reasons for Termination
Employers are not allowed to fire a worker or force him or her to resign under circumstances governed by Florida and federal statutes, including:
- Discrimination-based firing: A business is not allowed to make employment decisions based upon an employee’s disability, age, religion race, nationality, gender, pregnancy or other protected classes. In addition, employers must make reasonable accommodations of a person’s religion or disability.
- Retaliation against a whistleblower: A company is barred from retaliatory action against a whistleblower who reported the company’s wage, discrimination, harassment, fraud or other violations of the law. Even if an employee’s assertions are untrue, the company is nonetheless prohibited from firing him or her without cause until the investigation is complete.
- Breach of an employment contract: An employer and a specialized employee may choose to enter into a contract with a specific end date or defined conditions for termination. The employer may be held in breach of the contract for firing an employee early for reasons not specified in the contract.
Although an employer is prohibited from firing its worker under certain circumstances, this does not grant an employee immunity from termination. A business has the right to fire even a protected worker for cause, such as for violating company dress or conduct code, being excessively late or absent, or breaching an employment contract.
Our attorney recommends that an employer implement protective termination procedures to demonstrate that a firing is justified, such as:
- Including clear provisions about employee expectations and causes for termination in its employee handbook
- Remaining consistent about enforcement of company policies with every employee
- Documenting incidents of employee policy violations in an employee’s folder
- Communicating a reprimand to the employee at the time of the violation and during reviews
- Conducting a termination with a witness present and backed by evidence of cause if the employer is concerned about a future wrongful termination claim
Get Guidance on Wrongful Termination Issues
Gunterfirm guides employers on termination issues that could affect their business rights. Our firm develops termination policies that protect our Fort Myers and Naples client and help document cause in preparation for anticipated litigation. For more information about terminating an employee, or to reach our Southwest Florida wrongful termination lawyer for a free first consultation, call the firm at 239.334.7017 or contact us online.
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